According to a Chinese folk love legend, Niulang and Zhinu meet together annually on the 7th day of the 7th month on the Chinese calendar, which is the day of Qixi and considered as the Chinese Valentine’s Day by modern people.
The Double Seventh Festival (Qixi Jie, “七夕节” in Chinese ), also known as the Qiqiao Festival (Qiqiao Jie, “乞巧节” in Chinese ), is a traditional Chinese festival that marks the myth of love story between Niulang (“牛郎” in Chinese ), a mortal orphan cowherd, and Zhinu, a weaving maid (“织女” in Chinese ) and a heavenly being. According to a Chinese folk love legend, Niulang and Zhinu meet together annually on the 7th day of the 7th month on the Chinese calendar, which is the day of Qixi and considered as the Chinese Valentine's Day by modern people.
Based on the myth, one day, Niulang came across Zhinu, a fairy escaping from the boring Heaven, and the two fell in love and got married without the knowledge of the Goddess. Zhinu’s grandmother (in some different legends, Zhinu's mother), the Goddess of the Heaven, was furious when she found out that Zhinu had married a mere mortal, then she ordered Zhinu to return to the Heaven. Niulang was very upset, then he went up to the Heaven to look for his wife with the help of his ox. The Goddess knew it and became very angry. Taking out her hairpin, the Goddess slashed it across the sky and created the Milky Way, a wide river, in the sky to separate the two lovers forever. And Zhinu then became the star Vega and Niulang the star Altair. They were separated on the banks of the river. Moved by their true love, magpies in the world flied up into the Heaven to form a bridge (Queqiao, “鹊桥” in Chinese) over the galaxy for the couple to meet each other. The Goddess finally allowed Niulang and Zhinu to meet together only on the night of the 7th day of the 7th lunar month.