Seized by the System - Author: Mu Heng

In the western sky, a shooting star blazed a blood-red arc across the heavens, sending the numerous couples beneath who held spectacle to its descent into bouts of enthusiastic prayer and wish-making.

Those couples expected the star would fall?

  • in my opinion, "numerous couples who held spectacle to its descent" means "couples who take that shooting star's descent as spectacle". so, the last part is mainly about: "sending couples into prayer and wish-making".
    – dan
    Sep 18, 2018 at 1:06
  • 1
    I have never encountered the phrase to hold spectacle to something. Normally it is who beheld the spectacle. So that is a very rare usage. Such phenomena are considered omens, hence the prayers.
    – TimR
    Sep 18, 2018 at 11:05
  • 2
    The sentence appears to come from a work originally in Chinese and translated into English by a person who might not be a native speaker. The link above did not work for me. webnovel.com/book/9795095706003005/26751469923386963/…
    – TimR
    Sep 18, 2018 at 11:27
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo, yes It doesn't work for me also :) "Sorry, our service is not available in your country/region yet." It seems it aims at the English speaking countries.
    – Zhang
    Sep 19, 2018 at 0:45

3 Answers 3


In a descriptive sense, the star did fall—across the sky.

It's a somewhat uncommon expression, but to say that they held spectacle to its descent means that they observed the spectacle of its descent.

Typically, shooting stars are associated with blessings and well-wishes.

A variation of this (one that is more transitive) would be something like:

She was in awe at what she was held spectacle to.

Of course, it need not be positive:

She was aghast at the horror of what she was held spectacle to.

From Merriam-Webster's definition of spectacle:

1 a : something exhibited to view as unusual, notable, or entertaining
especially : an eye-catching or dramatic public display


You've missed out the important context:

The Qixi Festival happened on a summer night. In the western sky, a shooting star blazed a blood-red arc across the heavens,...

The Qixi festival is an annual event in China in which young couples go out to look at the stars, as it celebrates two lovers who were separated, and became immortalised as the stars Vega and Altair, on either side of the milky way. It is a day when girls make ardent prayers to find a lover and couples hope that they will have a happy life together. This is why there were numerous couples looking at the stars. The appearance of a shooting star would be a good time to make your wishes and prayers.


It just means "see the scene".

You have asked if it means "expected". I think you just confused spectacle and speculate, and thought they expected a star falling.

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