In China, the Milky Way is known as the “Silver River”. - FactzPedia


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In China, the Milky Way is known as the “Silver River”.


In China, the Milky Way is known as the “Silver River”. 


In Japan and Korea “Silver River” means galaxies in general, not just the Milky Way.

ONE day I was approached by a local friend who asked me what interesting traditions are followed by the Chinese that many Zimbabweans might not know of. What immediately popped into my mind were the various festivals we celebrate as a nation. As such, this article looks at one celebration that falls within the month of August. It is known as the Qixi Festival and it is celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh lunar months — this year is was on August 4.

In China, all traditional festivals are narrated as fairy tales and everybody knows the romantic story of Qixi. In the Han Dynasty, about 2000 years ago, there was a poor orphaned herdsman, Niu Lang, and the “weaving” fairy (Zhi Nyu in Chinese), the youngest daughter of the Jade emperor of Heaven (god in Chinese myth).

One day, whilst she was bathing in a river, Niu Lang came across her and they fell in love, angering the Jade Emperor. The Emperor forces Zhi Nyu to come back home and as she arrives; the Jade Emperor separates the realm of heavens and Earth with a silver river in the sky, symbolising the Milky Way.

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