Qixi Festival

Nicholas Quirke was feeling unusually rebellious on 25 August 2020, which was another ‘Love’ celebration day in China. Qi Xi. Qixi Festival celebrates the annual meeting of two legendary lovers, a cowherd, Zhinü and Niulang a weaver girl and falls on the 7th day of the 7th lunisolar month. Though it’s been celebrated in the Qixi Festival since the Han Dynasty the famous myth dates back to over 2600 years ago, which was told in a poem. It’s a Chinese Romeo and Juliet. Their love was not allowed and they were banished to opposite sides of the Silver River. Once a year, a flock of magpies would form a bridge to reunite the lovers for one day. Romantic thoughts though were dispelled by the administration he needed to do to embark on his next excursion around China. He started with another hospital visit to have a nucleic Acid test and though he was familiar with the process it had all changed and confusion broke out he was sent back and forth between the clinic and the Hospitals 3rd floor where he had been told they would know what to do. In the end he had to call upon the resources of Peng to help sort it out. It transpired that the payment machine was a broken and he needed to queue to make a manual payment. The temperature had started to rise again after a few cooler days and the heat and the flustered feelings combined to make him feel quite uncomfortable as he set off across the city on a bike to collect his passport from the Exit and Entry office. As he passed through security they questioned the GoPro round his neck so he removed it and put it his bag. However, they were not satisfied that he wouldn’t take it out and film inside they office and wanted to keep it. As they didn’t trust him he decided to be difficult and not trust them and he asked for a receipt, the request was not received well and caused a few problems and certainly distracted them for a good twenty minutes. Collecting his passport took less than five and he was only sorry that on collecting his item he didn’t think to waste more of their time by checking the camera and making sure they hadn’t interfered with it. The fighting spirit was still with him when he arrived at the nearby Yonghe Temple, better known as the Lama temple, when he was told no photos inside the temple buildings, but when he saw the rule being flouted by Chinese locals he too made discreet use of his camera. TheTemple, 雍和宫, “Palace of Peace and Harmony”, is a monastery with its buildings and artwork a combination of Han Chinese and Tibetan styles and was originally an official residence for court eunuchs of the previous dynasty. It was then converted into the residence of a prince before finally in 1722 it became a lamasery, a monastery for monks of Tibetan Buddhism. He made his way to meet Peng in the 1920 Cafe that he favoured before they went to enjoy an early dinner. On the way To Ci Qi Kou and ‘New world’ Mall, they saw a guy tackling a small snake in the gutter. The restaurant on two levels was beautiful and the dinner was equally delicious, though as always desert was made with egg and while Peng enjoyed a date cake, Nicholas had to wait and visit the ‘Glory Mall’, across the road to get an ice jelly dish. Unusually Nicholas indulged in a Budweiser Qi Xi special Edition beer as they ended the night watching ‘Peninsula’, the long awaited sequel to ‘Train to Busan’. Enjoyable hokum but lacking the heart of the original. The effects of drinking beer heralded an early night as the alcohol caused him to feel drowsy and he could not keep his eyes open.

3 Comments

  1. Thought I was going to hear the story about the two lovers, you can tell me when you return! Loved those Bud bottles x

    1. It’s kind of Romeo and Juliet.The general tale is a love story between Zhinü (the weaver girl) and Niulang (the cowherd).Their love was not allowed and they were banished to opposite sides of the Silver River. Once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, a flock of magpies would form a bridge to reunite the lovers for one day

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