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Double-Seventh Day

Double-Seventh Day refers to the seventh day of the seventh month on the Chinese lunar calendar. It is a day to celebrate the annual meeting of the loving couple, the Cowherd and the Girl Weaver. Many people consider the Double-seventh Day the Chinese Valentine's Day. It is also called Daughter's Festival.

Long ago, Chinese girls, no matter from rich or poor families,always wanted to train themselves having a good handcrafting skill like the Weaving Maid. The skill is essential for their future family. On the night of Valentine's Day, women wash their hair to give it a fresh and shiny outlook. Girls wash their face in the next morning of the Valentine's Day using the overnight water in their backyards to have a much more naturally beautiful appearance.

On that night, Girls and women would gather together in a square and look into the star-filled night sky. Parents would place an incense burner in the courtyard and lay out some fruit as offerings. Then all the girls in the family would kowtow to Niulang and Zhinu and pray for ingenuity.They would put their hands behind their backs, holding needle and thread, pray for the Weaving Maid star to let them become smarter. When the star Vega is high up in the sky, girls do a test, which is to put a needle on the water surface. If the needle doesn't sink, then girl is already smart enough and ready to find a husband. Girls may ask for any wish, but only one per year.

The same night, the girls and women would also dislpay carved melons and samples of their cookies and other delicacies. During the daytime, they would skillfully carve melons into all sorts of things. Some would make a gold fish. others preferred flowers, still others would use several melons and carve them into an exquisite building. These melons were called Hua Gua or Carved Melons.
The ladies would also show off their fried cookies made in many different shapes.They would invite the Girl Weaver to judge who was the best. Of course, Zhinu would not come down to the world because she was busy talking to Niulang after a long year of separation. These activities gave the girls and women a good opportunity to show their skills and added fun to the fesstival.

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