the weaver girl and the cowherd



The feelings soft as water, the ecstatic moment unreal as a dream, how can one have the heart to go back on the bridge made of magpies? If the two hearts are united forever, why do the two persons need to stay together—day after day, night after night?

“Meeting across the Milky Way” –Qin Guan

THE WEAVER GIRL AND THE COWHERD is a Chinese myth about a love story between Zhinu (織女; the weaver girl, symbolizing Vega) and Niulang (牛郎; the cowherd, symbolizing Altair). Their love was not allowed, thus they were banished to opposite sides of the Silver River (symbolizing the Milky Way). Once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, a flock of magpies would form a bridge to reunite the lovers for one day.


shyhawkeye requested: Chinese legend The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd

Through the varying shapes of the delicate clouds, the sad message of the shooting stars, a silent journey across the Milky Way, one meeting of the Cowherd and Weaver amidst the golden autumn wind and jade-glistening dew, eclipses the countless meetings in the mundane world. The feelings soft as water, the ecstatic moment unreal as a dream, how can one have the heart to go back on the bridge made of magpies? If the two hearts are united forever, why do the two persons need to stay together—day after day, night after night? 

My name is 織女, zhinü, weaver girl.
I am Vega, and
I would weave a path through the stars if I could.

Your name is 牛郎, niulang, cowherd.
You are Altair, and
does you being so close to the earth mean we’re galaxies away?

I’m on the magpie bridge, and
I’m looking out for you over the silver river.
Will you not come?
Is this our end?

—  the 7th day of the 7th month, v.g

hetaliafandomhubepsilon  asked:

Hello! For your Ambassador work, can you tell us about any folklore or fairytales from your country that you like? Thank you! (If you would like a different question, let me know)!

Of course! I’ve got quite a few.

In Regards to Culture: Fairytales and Folklores

I’ve tried to keep all the longer stories such as 白蛇精 and 西游记 out because those are really hard to explain. And I’ve also realized most of these are mythologies behind Chinese festivals because these are the only short stories I know, or at least remember (oops!)

Dragon Boat Festival- I’m pretty sure this story is title-less, and the title I gave to it on this post is just the name of the festival based on the story. This is actually a folklore about a real person– Qu Yuan (屈原), to be exact. Qu Yuan was a famous and well-loved poet and minister of the state of Chu. When the state of Qin captured the Ying, the capital of Chu, he was devastated, and threw himself into a river. His admirers, upon hearing the news, raced to the river and got in boats to search for his body. They wanted his body to be in one piece, so to prevent the fishes in the river from eating his remains, they threw packed balls of rice into the river for the fish to feast on instead. This is said to be the origin of the Dragon Boat Festival.

Mid-Autumn Festival- I’m not sure what the title of this story is either. From what I’ve been told, this is the tale of a young man and a woman. Back in the ancient days, there were ten suns in the sky instead of one. Due to all the sunlight, the crops can’t grow properly, and it also caused a drought. A brave young archer named Houyi (后羿) steps up and shoots down nine of the suns, leaving only one behind. The townspeople are so grateful they proclaim him the new emperor. The Houyi is leading a happy life with his riches and wife, Chang’e (嫦娥), and is also given the Elixir of Immorality (or, in other variations, pills). Houyi waits to drink the elixir after he goes hunting, but while he’s out hunting, someone breaks into their house (this someone being Fenmeng, I’m pretty sure) and tries to force Chang’e into giving him the elixir. Chang’e refuses, and to prevent Fengmeng from drinking the elixir, she drinks it herself, and accents above to the moon as the Moon Goddess, with only a rabbit keeping her company. Houyi is devastated to see his beloved wife leave, and now he can only admire from far away. (This is the story of the Mid-Autumn Festival)

The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd- This one is actually had to be my all time favorite! It’s a love story between the title characters– Zhinü (織女) and Nuilang (牛郎). Nuilang, a plain young cowherd, one day met Zhinü, who was a daughter of the Goddess of Heaven and had escaped from heaven that day looking for some fun. They fell in love and got married, but the Goddess of Heaven was completely unaware of it. When she found out her daughter married a mortal, she was extremely angry and took Zhinü back to heaven. Nuilang was fairly upset that Zhinü had disappeared, and was also very surprised when his ox, out of the blue, started talking to him. The ox told him about what had happened to his wife and said that if he killed it and put on its skin, Nuilang would be able to travel to heaven and find Zhinü. Nuilang did what he was told, but the Goddess of Heaven found out about this and was absolutely furious. She took out her hairpin and grazed a deep and wide river, known as 银河, (Literal translation: Silver River. But the actual translation would be the Milky Way) across the sky. Then she banished Zhinü and Nuilang to opposing sides of the river, thus preventing them from seeing each other. The magpie birds felt very sorry for them, and every year sometime in August, all the magpies on earth would fly into the sky and form a bridge across the Silver River, where the two lovers will meet again in the middle. This is also the legend behind the Qixi Festival.

Note that these are only summaries! There are also many other variations of these stories, and these are just the variations I’ve been told.

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Sailor Moon Mythology: Altair and Vega, or The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd

The Mythology

The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd is an ancient Chinese folktale that dates back to over 2600 years ago.  It is about the love story between Zhinü (the weaver girl, symbolizing the star Vega) and Niulang (the cowherd, symbolizing the star Altair). Their love was not allowed, thus they were banished to opposite sides of the Silver River (symbolizing the Milky Way). Once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, a flock of magpies would form a bridge to reunite the lovers for one day. The tale is celebrated in the Japanese festival of Tanabata, which is usually celebrated between July and August. (via Wikipedia)

In Sailor Moon

The Tanabata festival as well as the tale that inspired it feature prominently in the side story Chibiusa’s Picture Diary 2, which is entitled “Beware the Tanabata!” The legend (as well as its basis in astronomy) is explained in detail by Ami and Rei:

Anyway, Chibiusa is given a Sailor Moon watch by Mamoru for her birthday; she soon discovers that many other girls bought watches themselves. Soon afterward, on July 7th, all of the girls (including Chibiusa) who got watches are called to a park, although Diana manages to snap Chibiusa out of it. Once they reach the park, they see the mysterious vendor who sold the watches trying to persuade the crowd of girls that they don’t need men and should cast them out of their lives. Chibiusa transforms and protests that men and women need to live together, not apart. The speaker then “reveals” herself to be “Sailor Moon” - though she is actually an impostor.

Chibiusa quickly reveals the deception and discovers that the figure is actually Vega. Vega tells Chibiusa that she is fat and plain, causing her husband to no longer desire her. After he saw he without her makeup, she says, it has always rained on July 7th, making her feel that he is avoiding her.

Her two companions feed into her despair and reveal their plot to steal the energy of both the girls and Vega.

Diana realizes that they are Epsilon and Zeta, the other two Weaver stars that Ami mentioned. Chibiusa attacks them with Pink Sugar Heart Attack, destroying them and setting the girls free. Altair then appears and reassures his wife of his love for her, stating that he will never leave her for another girl. Chibiusa expresses hopeful wishes for the pair in her diary.


Final project for one of my classes! This is a series of papercut illustration books of classic Chinese fairy/folk tale romances, but I altered the genders.

From left to right: the cowherd and weaver girl, the legend of lady white snake, and the butterfly lovers.

This was my first time making “books” of any kind, and definitely my most ambitious papercutting project yet (I used up about 20 blades this semester!). I look forward to doing more of both in the future!

anonymous asked:

What's the meaning of the 7th july?

The song  ‘One Of These Nights’ is based on a folk tale called ‘Chilseok’ (the korean version of the chinese The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd). The korean version tells about the heavenly king’s daughter called Jiknyeo, who was very good at weaving beautiful clothes. One day, when she looked out of the window while weaving, she saw a handsome boy, a herder called Gyeonwu just across the Milky Way. She fell in love with him. Finally the heavenly father allowed the two to get married. Afterward, Jiknyeo didn’t want to weave clothes, and Gyeonwu didn’t take good care of the cows and sheep. The heavenly king grew angry and ordered the couple to live apart from each other - they should live on opposite sides of the Milky Way -, allowing them to meet only once a year. On the seventh day of the seventh month of each year, they were excited to meet each other but they couldn’t cross the Milky Way. However, crows and magpies worked together to form a bridge across the Milky Way for the couple. After a while, their sadness returned because they were forced to wait another year before meeting again. It is said that crows and magpies have no feathers on their heads because of the couple stepping on their heads. If it rains on that night, it is said to be the couple’s tears.

LayHan Chinese Valentine's Day Moment
  • Yixing: Let's interview Lu ge!
  • Luhan: No no no, I'm leaving, leaving.
  • Yixing: Today is Qixi (Chinese Valentine's Day). I'm Cowherd Zhang-
  • Luhan: (Interrupts) Don't you dare say it!
  • Yixing: Hahaha! *points the mic at fans* Who is the weaver girl?
  • Fans: Weaver girl Lu!
  • Luhan: *smiles awkwardly*
  • Yixing: How about we switch it around?
  • Luhan: (Immediately) Okay, okay, okay, let's switch it around!
  • trans by: @luhanqt | cr. LUHAN-Bloodeer
Speculating on Motifs to look out for in ShSpesh/TAB with regards to ‘Secret Message for Chinese fans’

Thinking about this from a Johnlock perspective, I would put forward 3 potential motifs to keep an eye out for during ShSpesh/TAB, given Moffat’s comment (x) about a “secret message”, that “you have to be able to speak Chinese to get.”

1) Mandarin Ducks

In traditional Chinese folklore, mandarin ducks are believed to mate for life (similar to swans in Western folklore). Not only are mandarin ducks symbols of wedded bliss and fidelity, they are used colloquially to mean an “odd couple” or “unlikely pair”,  because the male (showier) and female (plainer) plumages of the mandarin duck are so unlike. 

Hound of Baskervilles (S02E02) has explored the concept of the ‘odd couple’ that Sherlock and John make before:

Henry: Well, mates are mates, aren’t they? I mean, look at you and John.
Sherlock: What about us?
Henry: Well, I mean, he’s a pretty straightforward bloke, and you …

For the bonus round, watch for mandarin ducks frolicking in water. The idiom ‘ 鴛鴦戲水’ refers to the happy sporting of lovers. 

Mandarin ducks are my best bet right now, because of the idiomatic / verbal connections as well as symbolism, if I take Moffat’s ‘must speak Chinese’ literally. Also, it is the happiest association. 

2) Magpies (preferably in connection with a bridge)

This one is interesting because of the magpie motif showing up in The Sign of Three (S03E02) wedding, and @bug-catcher-in-viridian-forest​ ‘s excellent observation (y) of ShSpesh Mary’s magpie-colored costume. (For more details, go here - (z)

There’s a folktale The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd (a), which had the two lovers forbidden to be together, and are separated by the Milky Way - except when they are reunited once a year by crossing a bridge made by a flock of magpies.

Here’s part of a poem written about the story: ‘ 兩情若是久長時,又豈在朝朝暮暮’  If the two hearts are united forever, why do the two persons need to stay together—day after day, night after night? This is rather well suited to the current state of ‘Johnlock not officially Sherlock canon yet’. 

It’s a bit of an angst wallow, but let’s just focus on the ‘epic undying love’ for the moment. And WAIT. 

3) Red string (preferably attached to John and Sherlock)

Sherlock says in A Study in Scarlet: “There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it.”

This reminds me of ‘the red string of (sentimental) fate”. 

Chinese legend has a marriage deity 月老 (old man under the moon) in charge of “the red thread”. The two people connected by the (invisible) red thread are destined lovers, regardless of place, time, or circumstances. This magical cord may stretch or tangle, but never break. 

Again, ‘epic love destined to be’, but slightly more hopeful/upbeat. 

For bonus points, the ‘old man under the moon’ reminds me of Mr. Sandman lyrics in Mark’s episode of Doctor Who S09E09 (Sleep No More), a love song about yearning for one’s soulmate to make one’s lonely life not so alone. (b)

Thoughts? Comments? Additional motifs? Tagging some people who may be into this sort of potentially obscure speculation …  @jenna221b  @waitingforgarridebs  @miadifferent @bug-catcher-in-viridian-forest  @theconsultingtranslator @cupidford @mid0nz @twocandles @inevitably-johnlocked @storm-nightie I’d tag more, but I think I may have already overdone it … a bit. But everyone’s welcome to come play!

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Today is The Qixi Festival 七夕節, the 7th day of July in Chinese Farming Calendar. Where the cowherd and weaver girl meet again. It’s 7월 7일 (One Of These Nights) day. 

August 9th on the Gregorian calendar is July 7th on the Korean lunisolar calendar.

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