Cowherd and Weaver Girl

In China there is an ancient romantic folktale about Zhinu, a weaver girl and Niulang, a cowherd. Because theirs was a forbidden love, Zhinu was made to return to the heavens and they were separated by the stars that form the Milky Way. Once each year, on the seventh day of the seventh month, they were allowed to meet for a single day. 

'Star Lovers' - Warwick Goble

On this day a flock of magpies created a bridge so the lovers could cross the river of stars to see each other again. Their reunion is celebrated in Japan during the annual Tanabata festival. This tale is considered to be one of 'China's Four Great Folktales' and was a popular subject in art and poetry. It is a story that dates back 2600 years.

'The Herdsman and the Weaver Stars' - Utagawa Kuniyoshi, ca. 1840.

'Rendezvous in the Milky Way' - State Hermitage Museum (via Wikipedia).

'Zhinu and Niulang' - Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

Artwork in the Long Corridor of the Summer Palace, Beijing.