Dating ideas for Qixi: events in Guangzhou
A star attraction
The first museum celebrating the tradition of praying to the Weaving Maid star for sewing skills, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, will open to the public on Wednesday.
The museum is made of five Ming dynasty (1368-1644) ancestral halls in Zhucun village, Tianhe district. The tradition of praying for sewing skills, which is called qiqiao in Chinese, will be displayed through pictures, videos and exquisite needlework.
The museum's opening is part of the Guangzhou Qiqiao Cultural Festival, from Aug 7-14. Visitors can join traditional village events worshiping the Weaving Maid.
One of the events will see a table with a tower of red beans, rice, peanuts, red dates and melon seeds placed on it as an offering for a good harvest. Dolls in colorful silks will also be on show.
Opening times: 10 am daily for the Weaving Maid event, Aug 7-14. Zhucun village, Zhucun station on Guangzhou BRT, Tianhe district.
According to legend, the Cowherd and the Weaving Maid were banished and separated and can only meet once a year when magpies form a bridge on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, Chinese Valentine's Day. To celebrate the romantic date, which falls on Aug 13 this year, people in Guangzhou can take their partners to the top of Baiyun Mountain where they will find a "magpie bridge" glowing in decorations. Couples can take romantic photos in front of giant silhouettes of the Cowherd and the Weaving Maid, hand in hand, in a heart-shaped frame.
Another eye-catching attraction on the mountain is a 8.8-meter-tall gourd. It is used to celebrate a traditional festival honoring Zheng Anqi, a kind doctor in Guangzhou around the time of Qin dynasty (221-206 BC). He became an immortal and people climb the mountain to celebrate his birth and pray for good health on the 24th of the seventh lunar month.
This year's cultural festival celebrating Chinese Valentine's Day and the birth of immortal Zheng will kick off on Aug 10 and lasts until Aug 31. The events include blind dating, a carnival, weddings with brides and grooms dressed in Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) costumes.
Opening times: 6 am-9 pm, daily from Aug 10-31. Mountain-top Park, Baiyun Mountain, Baiyun Park station on Guanghzou subway Line 2. Tel: 020-3722-2222.
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