On the 7th day of the first Chinese lunar month, the Chinese celebrate the People’s Day Festival (人日節 Renri Jie). The day is also known by other names such as Festival of the People’s Victory (人勝節 Rensheng Jie), Festival of the People’s Celebration (人慶節 Renxing Jie), Day of the Human Population (人口日 Renkou Ri), and Day of the People on the Seventh (人七日 Renqi Ri). It is also known informally as Everybody’s Birthday (人人生日 Renren Shengri). The day is still officially considered a part of the 15-day Chinese new year celebrations. The festival has its origins in an ancient creation myth that says the goddess Nuwa (女媧) created all the animals and humans of the world.
A modern picture depicting the ancient myth Nuwa Creates Humankind(Image: Nipic.com)
According to a text written during the Jin dynasty (3rd to 5th century CE) called Questions and Answers on Rites and Customs (答問禮俗說 Dawen Lisu Shuo), chickens were created on the first day, dogs were created on the second day, pigs were created on the third day, sheep were created on the fourth day, oxen were created on the fifth day, horses were created on the sixth day, and humans were created on the seventh day. Therefore, the seventh day of the first month is observed to be the birthday of mankind and every person’s common birthday.
Nuwa creates all the animals and humankind(Image: Hillfox Art Series)
Happy birthday to everybody on the People's Day Festival!
Text © 2011 Harry Leong