Terms

Altair

Altair is the Arabic name for Aquila. Altair in Japan is Kengyuu Boshi or Hiko Boshi (Puller of Cows Star) who marries the Weaving Princess star, Vega. Altair is one of three stars in a row in Aquila which are called the 3 footprints of Vishnu. Altair, is identified as the herdsman, Ch’ien Niu, keeper of the royal herds. He fell in love with the maiden Chih Nu (called Tanabata in Japan), whose father was the sun king, the star we call Vega. Ch’ien Niu and Chih Nu married, but they were so in love that they neglected their duties, and the sun king banished them to spend their lives on opposite sides of the celestial river, the Milky Way. The are said to meet once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh month, when magpies stretch their wings across the river for one night - but only if the weather is clear. If it rains even the celestial birds cannot span the flood. Cited from website: Constellations
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