the weaver girl and the cowherd

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MYTHIC POETRY series:

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.

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
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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? 

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.

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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.

Red Velvet’s Dumb Dumb suddenly climbed 203 spots to #21 on MelOn’s Top 100 Chart

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