In the West, we have a few tales like Santa Clause, and the Easter Bunny that seem pervasive. St Valentine isn't such a big deal, even though Valentine's Day is named after him.
People who haven't studied China much usually don't understand just how embedded these tales are within society, and also in the language. I see old tales appearing as idioms that end up meaning something quite different to what they say.
One place that I've seen Qixi appearing is in postage stamps. You can see one set in the main image above.
Here's another set:
These are more recent but note the price hasn't changed. (Unlike our local postage prices)
I'll write more soon on the best methods for learning Mandarin. If you want to get a taste for it in the meantime though, my current favorite site is iTalki, and my favorite teacher by far is Amy He. If you decide to try it, click here and it's cheaper for both you and me.