I have to first apologize for missing such an important day in Chinese culture! According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar (農曆), today’s date is 蘭月初十 meaning the “10th day of the 7th month.” Therefore three days ago it was 蘭月初七 which likewise meant the “7th day of the 7th month.” The significance of this is that it is the eastern equivalent to the western Valentine’s Day that is based in Chinese history and is know as Qixi (七夕) or Chatjik in Cantonese. Likewise, in other eastern cultures, there is a similar story that is based from this one such as Tanabata (七夕) in Japan, Chilseok (칠석) in Korea, and Thất Tịch in Vietnam. Each of them involved a story between two lovers: Niulang (牛郎 Ngaaulong in Cantonese) the Cow-herder and Zhinu (織女 Jikneui in Cantonese) the Weaver-girl and their love for each other in which they are pulled away from each other.
The story as I remember it goes that there was once a mortal, Niulang who came across seven fairy girls bathing and was convinced by his oxen to steal their clothes. The youngest one, Zhinu, was chosen by her sisters to find out what happened and thus allowed Niulang to see her unclothed and thus she had to marry him. Upon their marriage they became a very happy couple, however, the Queen Mother of the West (西王母) would forced them to separate as she was jealous of their love for each other and took Zhinu back up to heaven where she became the star Vega, leaving Niulang with their children on earth. Niulang’s oxen told him a way to get into heaven with this two children and thus he becomes the star Altair in the sky. The Queen became infuriated and created a river between the two to force them to be separate forever; this became the Milky Way which separates the stars Altair and Vega in the sky as we see today. There are also two smaller stars next to Altair which are their children with their father up in the heavens, watching their mother from the other side of the river. However, once a year all the Magpies (a type of bird) in the world would take pity on them by forming a large bridge of Magpies (鵲橋) and will allow them to be with each other in person for one night, and this night is Qixi.
It is said that on the day of Qixi, if one looks up into the sky, they will see the two stars Altair and Vega on the same side of the Milky Way for the once in a year meeting the two will have with their children. There are many variations of this story, if you know something different, feel free to state it too! Happy Belated Qixi (七夕)!