Beijing to celebrate Qixi Festival

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The Qixi Festival, one of China's oldest traditional festivals, falls on the seventh day of the seventh month on the Chinese lunar calendar. Also known as the Qiqiao Festival and the Daughter's Festival, it celebrates the love between the mythological cowherd and weaver girl, who are separated by the heavenly river and can only reunite one day a year.

Celebrations of the Qixi Festival can be traced back to the Han Dynasty (202 B.C.-220 A.D.). In 2006, China included it into its first list of national intangible cultural heritages. During the festival, people pray for blessings and put on various performances. Particularly in Beijing, folk customs also include playing jigsaw puzzles, eating "qiao guo" (fried pieces of dough), and worshiping the seven stars. Imbued with rich cultural connotations, those various customs embody people's good wishes for everlasting love and harmonious family.

For this year's Qixi Festival, Beijing will hold a series of cultural activities to celebrate love and happiness. Please join us at any of the following 15 events:

  1. On Aug. 7, the Summer Palace will host the “I’ll Be Waiting for You at the Summer Palace” special event. Activities include lighting up the magpie bridge, the “Looking for Love in the Summer Palace” activity, floating river lanterns, etc. Press attendance through the Information Office of the Beijing Municipal People’s Government is now open to registration.

  2. On Aug. 7, the Beijing Folk Museum will invite people to experience local folk customs. Activities include a display of cultural relics featuring the Qixi Festival, restoration of the scene of worshiping the weaver girl, performance of traditional customs, interactive games, and exhibition of intangible cultural heritages.

  3. On Aug. 7, the Confucius Temple and the Imperial College Museum will host a performance named “Rites and Music of the Great Achievement.” Based on traditional rites and music, the live show will feature music, dance, and recitation. The show will be performed every hour and is free to the public.

  4. On Aug. 7, the Chang'an Grand Theater will host performances of Qixi Festival classics.

  5. On Aug. 10, the First Cultural Center of Dongcheng District will host a Peking Opera performance by a community theater troupe.

  6. On Aug. 8, the Second Cultural Center of Xicheng District will stage the Grand Canal culture-themed performance named “A Journey of Love Along the Grand Canal.”

  7. On Aug. 7, the National Center for the Performing Arts will host a concert named “Rose, Rose I Love You” by the China Broadcasting Chinese Orchestra.

  8. On Aug. 7, the Cultural Center of Chaoyang District will feature the “Wonderful Night at the Theatre” show, including “Ghost City” bazaars, delicious snacks, and live music performances.

  9. On Aug. 7, the Beijing Automobile Museum will invite folk experts to present the customs of the Qixi Festival and put on performances such as fan painting.

  10. During the Qixi Festival, the Old Summer Palace will host a garden party with activities such as taking pictures in the gallery of oiled paper umbrellas, needle piercing, poetry composing, needle casting, origami, umbrella painting, and solving jigsaw puzzles.

  11. On Aug. 7, the First Library of Dongcheng District will host a poetry recital on celebrating love and spreading happiness.

  12. On Aug. 7, the Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Center of Xicheng District will host performances of Kunqu Opera and offer an interactive experience to visitors.

  13. During the Qixi Festival, the China Millennium Monument will hold a series of activities including a charity marathon, exhibitions, performances, fairs, etc.

  14. During the Qixi Festival, the Library of Changping District will host a costume party of Han Chinese Clothing.

  15. On Aug. 10, the Agrilandia Italian Farm in Shunyi District will hold a group wedding ceremony for 30 couples and 300 guests.

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