Fun Facts about Chinese Culture and History

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Chinese Mythology

In the history of China, myth and legend originated as long as human appeared.

 

When these primitives were learning and fighting to survive, they created a beautiful land for their descendants, and left many breathtaking stories that have been passed on for thousands of years. 

Multi Origins and Systems

Chinese Mythology contains many immortals with different origins. They coexist harmoniously in Chinese culture, and there’s no consensus in regard to who is the strongest or most powerful one. 

In general, immortals in Chinese myth includes heroes from prehistoric era who made great contributions, extraordinary kings, deities from the Taoism Religion and Buddhism. 

Everyone and Everything Is Possible to Become Immortal 

In Chinese myth and legend, everything in the universe has the possibility to gain supernatural power and become immortals. 

Human

 

Those who had made great contributions to the humankind, or who had finished adequate, orthodox practices, would have the chance to fly up to the sky and transform into deity after they departed. 

Many Prehistoric Kings in the time are immortals because of their exceptional accomplishments. 

Animal

Normal animals can turn into human or celestial, if they went through assiduous cultivation, did extremely contributive activities (like having saved people’s lives), or run into a lucky opportunity. 

Plants

Plants have their own wills; those growing in blessed magical places can absorb nimbus, and obtain different super power. 

However, after having gained supernatural power, every immortal should behave with high moral standard; otherwise, they would lose everything. 

Therefore, they usually focus on further practicing in beautiful wonderlands, traveling around the world, and helping human when it’s necessary. 

Magical Places in Chinese Mythology 

Up in the Sky

Around 6500 years ago, the sky was divided into four parts in Chinese astrology, namely east, west, north and south. Each section contains seven stars, which look like images of some mythical creatures.

Those Four Mythical Creatures represent each section of the sky and control the four seasons respectively; a yellow dragon named Ying Long is guarding in the middle, who is superior and more powerful. 

They were important celestial beings and laid foundation for Chinese culture, mythology, Fengshui and magic arts in the Taoism Religion.

Mount Kunlun in the West

Mount Kunlun is the most important mountain in Chinese mythology.

 

It is a sacred, beautiful land where many celestial beings and mythical animals are living. 

Penglai Islands in the East

In ancient Chinese mythology, Penglai Islands are some mountains floating in the sea.

 

In those mythical mountains, fancy palaces are made of jade and gold, all animals and plants are pure as white clouds, and some powerful immortals are living there. 

Therefore, Emperor Qin Shi Huang and Emperor Wudi of Han, two of the greatest monarchs in Chinese history, all had been to Penglai to search for immortals.  

Mount Tai the Connection of Heaven and Acheron 

At the foot of the Mount Tai, there is the entrance to the underworld, where all the ghosts would go through.

 

On the top, however, is a path to the heaven. 

Therefore, it is believed as the magnificent, mythical place that connected worlds of the celestial, human and ghosts. 

Other Mythical Places 

In Chinese culture, most of magnificent Mountains, rivers, and Lakes have their own immortals guarding those places, as well as protecting local inhabitants. 

Taoists and Buddhist have been practicing in those quiet, spectacular places for thousands of years, during when they had built many spectacular temples, pagodas and Grottoes

The Sun in Chinese Mythology

Origin of the sun is various in Chinese culture, it was the incarnation of the Pan Gu’s left eye, or son of a mysterious queen. 

Except for having been shot down by hero Hou Yi, and chased by a clan leader Kua Fu, there were not many stories about the sun. 

However, the track of the sun was clearly and frequently described in many myths and legends, which has great Astronomy value.

Therefore, the sun in Chinese Mythology was not a sacred, mythical object that were worshipped by many people; instead, it was considered more for practical and agricultural utilizations. 

Fighting Against the Nature

Many legends in Chinese Mythology are in regard to fighting with nature or supernatural, in order to survive, and protect human’s well being. 

When the weather was extremely hot, a hero would shoot the suns down; when a huge flood was deluged, they would fight and conquer it. They also had created characters, documented medical herbs,  and killed evil monsters, etc. 

Major characters in those myths are diligent and fearless workers, sometimes with miraculous power.

 

In the end, they became celestial beings because of their outstanding contributions, hard work, and the spirit of sacrificing. 

Been Historicized and Secularized by the Confucianism 

Confucius, the founder of Confucianism, was highly against supernatural ideology.

 

Therefore, in most of his masterpieces, he historicized many immortals in ancient myths, and secularized many mysterious legends. 

Mythology in Confucianism, then, served for the ruling class and their governance, in which emperor’s power was granted by immortals.

 

Meanwhile, sovereigns’ behaviors would be reflected by natural phenomena.