The Magpie festival is known as the Chinese Valentine's Day which falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the Chinese calendar. According to the chinese phi yin this festival is known as Qi Xi. Young girls traditionally demonstrate their domestic arts, especially melon carving, on this day and make wishes for a good husband. This festival has other different names like the Night of Skills,the Seventh Sister's Birthday,the Daughter's festival or the festivals to Plead for Skills.
The day is celebrated as the day of love following the story of the Cowherd and the Weaver girl. The Cowherd is known as Niulang and the Weaver girl is known as Zinhu.
The story goes something like,Niulang saw the seven fairy sisters bathing in a lake,encouraged by his mischievous ox he slipped their clothes and waited to see what happened then. Zinhu was the youngest of all and she was sent to bring back the clothes. As Niulang saw Zinhu undressed she had to marry him. thus they two got married and lived happily giving birth to two children. But the Goddess of Heaven was not happy with a fairy girl marrying a human boy,she became furious with this and forced Zinhu to come back to Heaven to her former duty of weaving colorful clouds in the sky which she could not do on earth. Sad Niulang suddenly found his ox talkinh and telling him that if Niulang killed him then his skin would take him to heaven. Along with his two children Niulang reached heaven where he again met Zinhu. The Goddess with her hairpin scratched a wide river to separate the two lovers.
This river is believed to be the Milky Way and Niulang and Zinhu are believed to be the two stars Altair and Vega. There are two stars,Alshain and Tarazed,next to the Altair. Those two stars on Altair's each side are the Cowherd's two children in the story. Once a year all the magpies in the world would take pity on them and fly up into heaven to form a bridge "the bridge of magpies",over the star Deneb in the Cygnus constellation so the lovers may be together for a single night,which is the seventh night of the seventh moon. It is said that if it rains on the night of Qi Xi, they are the tears of Niulang and Zhinü crying at the misery of their life.
On the Chinese Valentine's Day, people in love like to go to the temple of Matchmaker and pray for their love and the possible marriage in China. People still single will do the same thing to ask their luck of love in the Matchmaker temple. In some Chinese provinces, people believe that decorating the flowers on the ox's horn on the Chinese Valentine's Day enables to prevent from the disaster. On the night of Valentine's Day, women wash their hair to give it a fresh and shiny outlook.