Chih Nü

Chinese - A spinning-maid, the star Vega. Wife of Ch'ien Niu. When these two stars visited earth and married, they became so infatuated with each other that they no longer did any work when they returned to heaven. They were punished by the king or queen of heaven who caused them to be separated by a river, the Milky Way, allowed to meet only once a year. Magpies took pity on their plight and formed themselves into a bridge over which Chih Nü was able to cross. In another story, she married Tung Yung who had bound himself to service in return for a loan to pay for his father's funeral. She released him from this obligation by weaving 300 bales of cloth in one month. She then returned to her home in the heavens but sent Tung Yung two baby sons. In some lore, occasionally called Chih Nü, Heavenly Weaving Girl, Heavenly Weaving Girl, Tanabata, Weaving Lady, Weaving Lady, Tanabata, Weaving Maiden, Weaving Maiden, Tanabata, Lyra, Lyra, Tanabata, Chih Nu, Weaving Maid(en), Weaving Maid(en), Japanese Tanabata or Japanese Tanabata.

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