Tuesday, August 13, 2013



Yesterday (13/8/2013) was the 7th day of the 7th Chinese Lunar month.
What's so significant of this day?
In today's society - nothing.
In the yester-years this is the day we commemorate the ONLY day when the fairy is allow to meet her husband, the cowherd.

Photograph taken from The Star Publication 13/8/2013

I am reminded of the story behind this "special day".  I am telling the story as told by my late mother and hope that the next generation will be able to tell the same story to their children (p.s. even my son was not aware of this folk tale ):

7th day of 7th Lunar month is called the "chat lui" (7th sister) festival.
In the heavenly realm, there were 7 daughters of the Jade Emperor of the Heaven.  One day the 7th daughter saw and fell in love with a cowherd.  Secretly she decided to leave left the heavenly realm and all her riches to become his wife.  They got married.  She became a weaver and he carried on being a cowherd without knowing her background. They seemed to live happily ever after until......

When the Jade Emperor came to know of this, he was very angry and sent the heavenly gods to bring his daughter back.   The godly warriors came and forcibly took her back to heaven. She pleaded with her father.  The Jade Emperor was finally convinced with their love for each other, but she being a heavenly being could not be permitted to stay on earth .    So he ordained that she be allow to see/meet her husband once a year only. That day fall on the 7th day of 7th Lunar month.

There were prayers offered on this night.  My mother could laid the table with 7 types of food or offerings. The must-have  were 1 tin of  growing padi (rice) and 1 tin of growing beansprout. These 2 items were grown and being sold at the market just for this day.  There were also  mini cakes (7 pieces stacked up); a type of small bitter/sour green fruit; oranges, apples,  sponge cake etc and not forgetting the box of face powder ("hai tang" brand)! After prayers, she could tell us to put on some of the face powder, so that we always have smooth complexion and no pimples! True or False?

I just realise that there are 2 types of these powders available - white and pink!

Now, how could we know whether the couple actually get to meet?  Of course there is the milky stars that the Jade Emperor cause to form a bridge for her to descend to meet her husband.  

For us, my mother could get us to wash the rooftop in the evening before the prayers (our rooftop was not as glamorous as the one featured in Jay Chou's movie- The Rooftop which by the way is a very good movie).   Early the following morning, we could eagerly rushed up the rooftop and sure enough there would be a tiny line of powder as if it fell from heaven above!   Believe it or not!

So, children did you learn anything besides keeping this tale alive to the next generation?



  1. Hi Elaine, nice posting. Those were the days when we used to hear the older folk telling us this fairy tales. Is the compact powder still available in the market? I love to play with it during my school days.


  2. Good morning Amelia,
    Agree- sad that nowadays the young generation are not aware of these folk tales. Yes, they are available - got pink colour as well now!