Each year, the Chinese celebrate a love story that is written in the stars.
The legend goes that there was once two lovers, a human named Altair and a Goddess of the Heavens, Vega. As Princess of the skies, Vega was very lonely, isolated traveling among the heavens. One day she saw a handsome man sitting beneath a great tree and went closer to hear the music he made on his flute. He was surprised to see her but also delighted, and he fell in love with her immediately. She came to visit him over the following days, smitten with the Earthly cow herder. She vowed that one day they will be together in the Heavens, no matter what.
In some variations of the tale it is her mother that finds out about the forbidden love.
In others, it is her father. But the result is the same. They forbid Vega from seeing this mortal and drag her away. In a cruel twist of fate, the promise she made comes true and the two lovers are placed in the skies, though far apart, forever separated by the Heavens. The Great Celestial River (The Milky Way) lay between them, Vega part of the constellation Lyra, and Altair in the constellation Aquila.
It was said that once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th month of the traditional Chinese calendar, a bridge of magpies forms, allowing the lovers to be together for just one day. But it was not always possible to meet. The myth says that on this day, if the rain falls, then the lovers were not able to see one another and these are the tears of Vega falling from the heavens.
The tale of Vega and Altair offers hope that even in times of great separation and against all odds those connected by the heart may still be together, though the wait may be long. Where there is great love, there is always a chance.