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The Moon God

One old Chinese saying goes "marriages are made in heaven and prepared on the moon". The man in charge of the preparation is the man of the moon (Yue Lao). It is said that he knows everyone's love future and nobody can change the decisions that have been written down in his book. Traditionally he is known as the moon god . 

The moon god is often compared to Cupid in the western world; the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. They both do jobs that are love related, but it should be noted that there are many differences between them.

Cupid is represented by the image of a young boy carrying a bow and arrow and when two people are shot by the arrows at the same time, they are destined to be a couple. However, the moon god is usually described as an old man with a white goatee beard who walks around with a crutch. Instead of a bow and arrow, he has a book that contains detailed information on young girls and boys. He made matches by tying a red thread on boys and girls based on their character, hobbies and other interests. These red threads are special, as for they are only efficacious when put in the moon god's bag and used only by the moon god himself.

Many believe in the moon god's powers and wish that they have a happy marriage. In the Song Dynasty, tying a red thread became customary at wedding ceremonies. During the Qing Dynasty, people gradually started using red cloth or red silk instead. The bride and bridegroom held each side of the red cloth when they entered the bridal chamber together. Nowadays, this custom is still carried out in some Han nationality or minority districts.