Chinese Mythology Story: Cowherd and Weaving Maiden


There is a Vega star in the sky, and an Altair star. Vega and Altair are in love, and their hearts are in love. However, the laws of heaven do not allow men and women to love each other, private love. The Weaving Maiden is the granddaughter of the Queen Mother, who then relegated Altair to the mortal world and made the Weaving Maiden keep weaving cloud brocade as punishment.

The weaver’s job is to use a magical silk on the loom to weave layers of beautiful clouds, changing their color with the time and season, which is the “heavenly clothes”. Since the deportation of Altair, the Weaving Maiden often washed her face with tears and missed Altair with a sad frown. She sat at the loom and kept weaving the beautiful cloud brocade in order to win the Queen Mother’s kindness and let Altair return to the heavenly realm as soon as possible.

Chinese Mythology Story: the cowherd and the weaving maid lovers separated by the milky way -- husband and wife living apart

One day, a few fairies pleaded with the Queen Mother to go to the Lotus Pond on earth, and the Queen Mother was in a good mood today, so she agreed to them. Seeing that the weaving maiden had been suffering all day, they pleaded with the Queen Mother to let the weaving maiden go together, and the Queen Mother also felt sorry for her granddaughter after being punished, so she ordered them to go and return quickly.

The story goes that after the deportation of Altair, he was born in a peasant family and named Niulang. Later, when his parents passed away, he followed his brother and sister-in-law to live their lives. His brother and sister-in-law were very mean to Niu Lang and wanted to split the family with him, giving him only an old cow and telling Niu Lang to set up his own business.

From then on, the cowherd and the old cow were dependent on each other, and they plowed the fields and built houses in the wasteland. A couple of years later, they created a small home, barely able to subsist. However, in addition to the old bull that can not speak and outside, the cold and clear home only cowherd a person, the days are quite lonely. Cowherd did not know that the old cow was the original golden calf in the sky.

One day, the old cow suddenly spoke, it said to the cowherd: “Cowherd, today you go to the blue lotus pool, there are some fairies in the bath, you hide the red fairy clothes, wearing the red fairy clothes will become your wife.” Cowherd saw the old cow spouting words, and strange and happy, so he asked, “Brother cow, you can really talk? Is what you say true?” The old bull nodded, and the cowherd hid quietly in the reeds by the blue lotus pond, waiting for the fairies to come.

In a short while, the fairies arrived, took off their light clothes and leaped into the clear stream. The cowherd boy ran out of the reeds and took away the red fairy clothes. When the fairies saw someone coming, they put on their clothes and flew away like birds, leaving only the fairy who could not escape without her clothes, she was the Weaving Maiden. Weaving girl see their fairy clothes by a young man snatched, and ashamed and anxious, but can do nothing. At that moment, the cowherd came up to her and said that she had to promise to be his wife before he could return her clothes. The weaving girl took a good look and realized that the cowherd was the one she had been thinking about, so she agreed to him in shame. In this way, the weaving girl will be the wife of the cowherd.

After they got married, the man cultivated and the woman knitted, and loved each other, and lived a very beautiful and happy life. Soon, they gave birth to a son and a daughter, very cute. Cowherd and weaving girl full of thought to be able to keep together for life, to grow old.

However, the Queen Mother knew about this incident, angry, immediately sent the sky gods and fairies to catch the weaving girl back to the Heavenly Court for questioning.

This day, the weaving girl is cooking, down to the ground to the cowherd rushed back, eyes red and swollen, told the weaving girl: “Brother Niu died, he said before he died, want me in his death, will be his cowhide peeled down well, one day, cloak it, you can fly to heaven.” The weaving woman heard, the heart wondered, she understood, the old cow is the golden ox star in the sky, only because for the relegated to the mortal altair said a few words of justice, also relegated to heaven. How could it suddenly die? The weaving girl then let the cowherd peel off the skin, a good burial of the old cow.

At this time, the sky wind, the heavenly soldiers descended from the sky, without saying a word, escorted the weaving girl and flew up into the sky.

Flying, flying, the weaving girl heard the cowherd’s voice: “Weaving girl, wait for me!” The weaving girl looked back, only to see the cowherd with a pair of baskets, carrying two children, clad in cowhide came. Slowly, the distance between them is getting closer and closer, the weaver can see the children’s lovely appearance, the children have opened their arms, calling loudly “Mom”, look, the cowherd and the weaver will meet. But at this time, the Queen Mother drove the auspicious clouds came, she pulled off her head of gold hairpin, to the middle of them a stroke, suddenly, a river rolling across the weaving girl and the cowherd, can not cross.

The weaving girl looked at the other side of the river, the cowherd and children, straight to cry hoarse, the cowherd and children also cried to death. Their cries, the children’s cry of “mother”, is so heartbreaking, tearful, even the fairies watching, the gods of the sky are feeling sad and heartbroken. Seeing this scene, the Queen Mother was slightly moved by the steadfast love of the Cowherd and the Weaving Maiden, so she agreed to let the Cowherd and the children stay in heaven and let them meet once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month.

From then on, the Cowherd and his children lived in the sky, across a heavenly river, and the Weaving Maiden looked at each other from afar. Among the stars in the autumn night sky, we can still see two larger stars on both sides of the Milky Way, shining crystalline: Vega and Altair. Together with Altair, there are two smaller stars, the son and daughter of the Cowherd and the Weaving Maiden.

On the seventh day of the seventh month when the Cowherd and the Weaving Maiden meet, countless flocks of magpies fly to build a bridge for them. On the magpie bridge, the cowherd and the weaving maiden were reunited! The Weaving Maiden and the Cowherd are looking at each other with affection, hugging their children, with countless words to say and endless feelings to confess!

Legend has it that every year on the seventh day of the seventh month, if people listen quietly in the vines under the grapevine, they can faintly hear the fairy music playing and the weaving maiden and the cowherd talking in deep love.

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