Qiqiao Jie (Chinese Valentine's Day)

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This is a romantic festival which was extensively celebrated by the Cantonese community in Singapore, but is little observed currently.

According to a legend, a cowherd married a celestial maid serving the empress of heaven, who had surreptitiously come to earth as a weaver. The weaver was subsequently summoned back to heaven by the empress. Touched by the love and entreaties of the cowherd, the empress of heaven finally relented and allowed the couple to meet once a year, on the 7th night of the seventh lunar month. The story goes that on this particular night thousands of magpies would soar to the milky-way to create a bridge for the couple. And because the weaver was skilled in weaving, women in the past would offer prayer foods in the open air to pray for skills in the craft.

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