When I was a little girl, my grandmother would round up her granddaughters and have us worship the goddess on the moon. I can still remember the sweet scent of the loose face powders and other toiletries that she’d prepared as offerings. We prayed dutifully, for the attributes that would make us model wives, and we prayed for good husbands.
The ritual was part of the Qixi 七夕， a festival we are celebrating tonight, the seventh day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar. It’s the Chinese version of Valentine’s Day. Legend has it that a pair of lovers were separated by a cruel Goddess who placed them on each side of the Milky Way but on one night of the year the magpies bridge the sky and allow them to meet.
Tonight I think of my Grandma who was taunted by my younger brother when the first man walked on the moon. She refused to believe it; insisting that it was a movie on TV.