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Night Of Sevens/ Chinese Valentine Day – Qixi Festival/ Double Seventh Festival: 28th August 2017
The Qixi Festival (Chinese: 七夕节), also known as the Qiqiao Festival (Chinese: 乞巧节), is a Chinese festival that celebrates the annual meeting of the cowherd and weaver girl in Chinese mythology.It falls on the seventh day of the 7th month on the Chinese calendar.It is sometimes called the Double Seventh Festival,the Chinese Valentine’s Day,the Night of Sevens,or the Magpie Festival. In 2017, the Qixi Festival falls on on August 28th.
By Gaurav Sharma
In the present age of violent radicalism brimming with religious intolerance, 7/7–the inflexion point of the seventh day with the seventh month of the year – is a grim reminder of the London bomb blasts which claimed the lives of more than 50 people.
Associating the day with a poignant cultural event would, in this regard, seem like an aberration.
Yet, in the East, 7/7 represents a heart-warming and soul-touching cultural carnival with its roots grounded in Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
Named as the Qixi Festival in China, the fiesta adopts different monikers in various countries, such as Tanabata or the Star Festival in Japan, Chilseok in Korea and That Tich in Vietnam.
However, the foundational idea based on a mythological story behind the festival remains the same. The Night of Sevens (double seventh festival) alludes to the annual meeting between a cowherd boy and a weaver girl.
Origin Of “Night Of Sevens”: The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd Boy
Legend has it that two romantic lovers by the names of Zhinu, a weaver girl symbolizing Vega star and Niulang, a cowherd boy representing Altiar were not allowed to embrace each other and were instead banished to opposite sides of the Silver river(denoting the Milky way galaxy).
Zhinu was the daughter of the Goddess of Heaven and a charming young lady who had managed to escape boring heaven in search of some fun. On her inter-galactic odyssey, Zhinu fell in love with Niulang (an Earthly man) and married him in secrecy from her mother.
Zhinu, who had hitherto been assigned the task of weaving wonderful, colorful clouds now grew accustomed to married life and mothered two children. She started neglecting her job as a weaver and instead enjoyed her life with a mortal on Earth.
After coming to knowledge of her daughter’s wedlock with a mere mortal and her subsequent dereliction of duty, the Goddess fumed in anger and commanded her to return back.
Zhinu then sacrificed her family life and goes back to heaven. But her husband, crying in separation, longed to meet her. After the divine intervention in the form of an ox drives Niulang to heaven, the Goddess pulled out her hairpin and inundates the sky with a river that created the Milky way between the two stars, Vega and Altiar.
The river forever separates Zhinu and Niulang while Zhinu sadly sits on the banks of the river weaving on her loom and Niulang helplessly watches her from afar.
However, once every year (7/7) the nights of seven/double seventh festival, their broken hearts glimmer with the light of reunion. Magpies take a pity on the separated lovers and build a bridge to reconnect the two, hence culminating into the Night of Sevens.
Traditional and Modern Celebration of Night Of Sevens or Double Seventh Festival
To mark the importance of the annual event, people go to temples to pray to Zhinu for wisdom and burn paper items as offerings.
Girls recite prayers for a begetting a loving husband and imbibing dexterity in needlework, considered to be traditional talents of a good spouse. While earlier needle threading would be done under dim light or low glare, nowadays women present toiletries in honour of the maidens.
As part of the jamboree, a festoon is placed in the yard and half of the face powder, a queer offering, is splashed on the roof while the other is divided among the women to bound themselves in beauty with Zhinu.
Chinese gaze at the sky to look at the stars Vega and Altiar and believe that if there is rain on the day, it is the tears of separation of the legendary couple.
The festival is symbolic of a happy marriage and magpies who are the connecting link between the distanced lovers, are emblems of conjugal happiness and faithfulness.
In times when more couples are bickering over trifle matters, quarrelling and and separating from each other, the story of the mythical couple is a reminder of what love actually stands for, standing by each other through times of bitter separation.
By Monika Manchanda
Eating fruits is one of the most satisfying ways to tackle sweet-tooth cravings while meeting your nutritional needs. Despite many studies and research on fruit consumption in diabetes, there are a lot of speculations on the right kind of fruit consumption and its relation to blood sugar levels.
Eating seasonal and locally available fruit has many health benefits ranging from reducing sugar and inflammation levels to fighting high blood pressure -- thanks to their abundant vitamins and mineral presence! They are a powerhouse of antioxidants like vitamins A, B, C, E, and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and fiber.
The fruits listed below are not just diabetic-friendly but are loaded with fiber and water content which can slow down the sugar spikes and sugar absorption rate. Apples are not just nutritious and filling; According to a study, they are significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes if consumed in moderation. Turns out there is a truth in the old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away", after all!
Apples are not just nutritious and filling; According to a study, they are significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes if consumed in moderation. | Photo by Pierpaolo Riondato on Unsplash
Avocados are a great source of healthy fats and more than 20 vitamins and minerals. They are high in fibers as well, and have been linked with lowering the risk of diabetes. Berries: Adding berries is one of the best ways to add a variety to your diabetes-friendly diet. You can choose from blackberries, blueberries, or strawberries because all of them are power-packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fibers. Papaya is rich in natural oxidants, which makes it a perfect pick for people with diabetes. It reduces the chances of future cell damage.
Star fruit: This sweet and sour fruit is rich in dietary fiber and vitamin C. It also positively impacts anti-inflammatory processes and can help repair cell damage, and it has minimal fruit sugars as well. Kiwi fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin E, K, and potassium, and they are low in fruit sugars as well, which makes it a perfect diabetic-friendly fruit.
Avocados are a great source of healthy fats and more than 20 vitamins and minerals. | Photo by Kristine Wook on Unsplash
Melons (Musk melon and watermelon): Powerful hydrating fruits like cantaloupe and melons are recommended for people with diabetes, and people with the risk of developing diabetes. Eat-in moderation for multiple nutritional benefits like fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B, and C. Dragon fruit is full of dietary fibers, vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Pear are nutrient-rich, and they are known to fight inflammation and improve digestion.? Studies also suggest that consuming pears along with a healthy diet reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Orange: This citrus fruit is full of fiber that helps slow down sugar absorption into the bloodstream, and its vitamin C component helps improve immunity levels.
Add fruit to your salads to enjoy their goodness with a sprinkle of cinnamon, it tastes better and reduces sugar spikes . | Photo by Jo Sonn on Unsplash
Add fruit to your salads to enjoy their goodness with a sprinkle of cinnamon, it tastes better and reduces sugar spikes . Add nuts like walnuts and almonds to complement your fruit snack. you can also add flaxseeds to balance the glycemic load in the body. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Diabetics, Apples, Star fruit, Pear, Melons, Kiwi fruit
By Nimerta C Sharan
Your monthly round up of the latest lifestyle launches, from luxury indulgences to artisanal creations, here's what you can look forward to :
Exciting news for all handbag lovers, luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton recently launched their limited edition handbags 'Artycapucines - Chapter 3'. Six internationally -- acclaimed artists have transformed the black canvas of the timeless Capucines bag into beautiful art pieces. Each bag will be available in a limited edition of 200 and will be released worldwide at the end of October 2021.
Exciting news for all handbag lovers, luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton recently launched their limited edition handbags. | Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash
Add To Cart
Looking for a quick festive fashion fix for you and your loved ones? E-commerce giant AJIO has announced it's hottest fashion sale starting September 30, 2021. The shopping platform has roped in stylista Sonam Kapoor as the face of the sale that will offer more than 2500 brands at discounted prices.
E-commerce giant AJIO has announced it's hottest fashion sale starting September 30, 2021. | Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash
The country's leading design house, Good Earth, in collaboration with textile designer Madeline Weinrib will present its collection of 'butah' motif dinnerware and home textiles at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, New York. The 'Heirloom Project' that honours diverse Islamic design techniques will display curated products from across the globe.
The 'Heirloom Project' that honours diverse Islamic design techniques will display curated products from across the globe. | Photo by Jean Vella on Unsplash
Sweet dreams are made of this! Iconic French patisserie Laduree has opened its first Indian outpost at Delhi's upscale Khan Market. Spread over three floors, the bakery currently has twelve macaron flavours, their signature pastries and tea cakes and other brunch and high-tea items on the menu. Bon appetit.
Iconic French patisserie Laduree has opened its first Indian outpost at Delhi's upscale Khan Market. | Pixabay
Bright And Beautiful
Raw Mango's latest festive edit 'Moomal' goes live on their website on September 26, 2021. Inspired by the richness and diversity of Rajasthan, the collection consists of organza and silk saris and shararas, gota lehengas and kurtas and embroidered odhnis. The colours and silhouettes are just right for the upcoming festive season. (IANS/ MBI)
Raw Mango's latest festive edit 'Moomal' goes live on their website on September 26, 2021. | Photo by Souravi Sinha on Unsplash
Keywords: Lifestle, AJIO, sale, Deepika PAdukone, saris, Motifs, artisan, art
Actress Kangana Ranaut has talked about how her weight adjustments for her latest 'Thalaivii' that "messed up many things" in her body and left her with "permanent stretch marks". For her role in the film, based on the life of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and former actress J. Jayalalithaa, Kangana had to gain 20kg and undergo major physical transformation several times.
She took to Instagram to share her experience, detailing that doing all that over the six months period left her with "permanent stretch marks". "Gaining 20 kgs in 6 months and loosing it all within 6 months that too in my thirties messed up many things in my bodya I also have permanent stretch marks as well but art comes to life with a price and more often than not price is the artist him/herself," she wrote.
"Thalaivii" showcases the varied aspects of Jayalalithaa's life, tracing her journey as an actress at a young age to becoming the face of Tamil cinema, as well as the rise of the revolutionary leader who changed the course of the state's politics. Talking about her upcoming works, Kangana currently has 'Dhaakad'.
She is also shooting for her next 'Tejas', where she plays a fighter pilot. The Indian Air Force was the first of the country's defence forces to induct women into combat roles in 2016. The film takes inspiration from the landmark event. 'Tejas' is directed by debutant Sarvesh Mewara. The film will be RSVP's second film which pays a tribute to the Indian military after the immensely successful film "Uri: The Surgical Strike" which was released in January 2019. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kangana Ranaut, Thalaivii, bollywood, stretc marks, actress, tamil cinema