What is the 'swallow's bridge'?

Our name, Swallow's Bridge, comes from an image in a beloved Chinese folktale, a story of love, fidelity, and the healing that is available to us through our connection with the natural world.

The story goes something like this -

One fine summer day long ago, the beautiful granddaughter of the Queen of Heaven, looking down upon the Earth below her, spied a poor young farmer diligently tilling his fields with the aid of an old ox. After some time the Princess became so captivated by the sight of the young man that she decided to forsake Heaven in order to be with him. Disguising herself as an ordinary mortal she married the young farmer, and together they lived happily for a period of time.

But inevitably the Queen of Heaven was alerted to what her granddaughter had done, and she became angry and spiteful when she thought of how impetuous and willful the royal Princess had shown herself to be. So the Queen devised a way to punish the errant lovers, by changing each of them into a star in the night sky and then banishing them to the opposite ends of the firmament.

The legend continues that once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh moon all of the swallows in China band together to form a bridge across the sky, joining the Princess and her lover together again.

In some parts of China, the day of the swallow's bridge is still celebrated as a traditional holiday.