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July to August

The Chinese Valentine's Day, also known as the Qiqiao Festival, is the most romantic holiday in Chinese history. Girls would pay most attention to this festival in the past. Legend has that on the 7th of July in Lunar Calendar, the Cowherd and the Weaving Girl will meet in the Milky River.

The Cowherd and the Weaving Girl are folk names. They refer to two stars in Aquila and Lyra. According to legend, on the 7th of July in lunar calendar, the moon is approaching the Milky River and the light of the moon will shape the "magpie bridge" where the Cowherd and the Weaving Girl meet each other. Therefore, 7th of July is considered the Chinese Valentine's Day. In legend the Weaving Girl is clever in mind and skillful in hand. On this day, the ordinary girls will pray to her for intelligence and skills as well as happy marriages.

Though the festival is regarded as a holiday for ladies, many parents will ask their un-married sons to worship the Cowherd. There is a saying that the Cowherd will help the men get good wives and secure them happy and harmonious marriages. So generally men will worship the Cowherd while the girls will worship the Weaving Girl.

Guangzhou has been well-known for its festival atmosphere during the Qiqiao Festival. The Zhu village is reputed to be the First Qiqiao Village in China. Since 2005 it hosted the Guangzhou Qiqiao Cultural Festival and has become a cultural brand for Tianhe District and Guangzhou. In 2006, Guangzhou Qiqiao Festival is listed in the first group of the national intangible cultural heritage.

Qiqiao features in Zhu Village: the meeting of ladies, showing the handicrafts of the ladies, seeing and worshipping the ladies. "Showing the handicrafts" had been very popular in Ming and Qing Dynasty. Now this activity has restored the old tradition of three stages: Southeast stage, No.7 stage and No.8 stage. Every year nearly 10 thousand visitors will take a look at this activity in Zhu village on Qiqiao Festival.

Qiqiao Festival in Huangpu

Qiqiao Festival in Huangpu is more related to the sea. It has a lot to do with harbor, wharf and fisherman.

Qiqiao Festival in Liwan

Liwan focuses on restoring the style of Xiguan (part of the old Guangzhou). So the Qiqiao festival here has combined the modernity, marine and industrial features as well as inclusiveness.

Time: August every year
Location: Zhu Village in Tianhe District, Nanhaishen (South Sea God) Temple in Huangpu District and Liwan Cultural Center

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