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?
The Qixi Festival is a Chinese festival that celebrates the annual meeting of the cowherd and weaver
girl in Chinese mythology. It falls on the seventh day of the seventh month on
the Chinese calendar. It is
sometimes called the Double Seventh Festival, the Chinese Valentine’s Day, the
Night of Sevens, or the Magpie Festival.
culture, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called
Ghost Day and the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month (鬼月), in which ghosts and spirits, including
those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm.
The Cowherd who herds cattle in the heaven. He has ability to control people’s mind by playing pipe. He loves the Weaver Girl who has been grown up with him but they can only see each other once a year because Jade Emperor’s test on the Cowherd.
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.
Sailor Moon Mythology: Altair and Vega, or The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd
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.
The weaver in heaven. The silk that she made has power to heal wearer. And she is beautiful as much as silk. So many guys want to get her mind. Unfortunately she is the daughter of Jade Emperor, it’s not easy.
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!
Fairytale!crossover for Karasuno baby crows? Like which prince or story they'd most likely represent?
I was so excited to write this!! I absolutely love fairy tales and legends and all that sort of stuff (ended up going overboard and doing way too much research) !!! (●´□`)- ✿
Daichi: He would be Tancredi the troubadour in the legend of the Festival of the Blooming Rose. In order to marry his lover of higher status, he leaves to attain glory in battle only to be struck down. Just before he dies, he plucks a white rose, now stained red with blood, for his lover.
Sugawara: He would be Vega in the story The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd, a celestial being hopelessly in love with someone unattainable. However, once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh month, he is able to reunite with his lover for one night.
Asahi: He’d be Hercules from the Disney version of the Greek legend. Kidnapped from Olympus and turned into a mortal, his superhuman strength causes him to become an outcast. It takes a lot of training, but he eventually becomes a hero worthy of the gods (From Zero to Hero!).
Nishinoya: He’d be Sinbad the Sailor, an explorer from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights. He goes on many adventures and each time, uses his wit to escape harm and return home with riches. However, his thirst for travel drives him to consistently leave the comfort of his wealth and into the clutches of danger.
Tanaka: He’d be Prince Phllip in the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty who fought his way through giant thorns and a fierce dragon to save the princess. He’s such a knightly type of guy with a strong, unwavering resolve.
Hinata: He’d be Beowulf from the old English epic poem Beowulf. He starts out as a young and ambitious hero who uses his strength to conquer monsters, exemplifying the stereotypical hero. However, he eventually matures into a wise and reliable king.
Kageyama: He’d be the Beast from the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. His pride causes him to fall under the curse of a passing enchantress and only by learning how to respect and love others does he return to his human form.
Yamaguchi: He’d be Arthur from the Disney version of the Sword in the Stone. Although he starts off as an normal boy, he unwittingly pulls out the legendary sword Excalibur from its anvil, fulfilling a prophecy and suddenly becomes a king.
Tsukishima: He would be Alice in the story Alice in Wonderland. He’d be the most skeptical and disbelieving Alice, thinking that all the talking animals and fantastical events are all part of a weird fever dream (Imagine Kuroo as the Chesire Cat, Oikawa as the March Hare, Bokuto as the Mad Hatter, and Kenma as the Dormouse….!!)