Occupations of the Twelve Months (7th Month) Painters of the Qing court Qing dynasty (1644-1911) The ladies are laying out a table under the moon for the Chi-chiao festival on the 7th day of the 7th month. Only on this night are Vega, the star of the weaver maiden, and Aquila, her husband and herdsman, allowed to rest from their toil and meet. Magpies must form a bridge across the Milky Way so that the maid may cross over to her husband's home. On this night ladies on earth pray for special skill in the womanly arts. Here they test their fortune; one attempts to thread a needle in the moonlight, others place spiders in small boxes to see how perfectly the web will be woven. The men in the study relax and listen to a flute. In the mountains the night is very dark. A few magpies are already roosting in a tree; they seem to have retired prematurely from building a bridge for the weaver-maid.
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