Fun Facts about Chinese Culture and History

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Zhao Feiyan -- Gorgeous Dancer Queen 

Zhao Feiyan (45 B. C. -- 1 B. C.), a civilian born queen, was very famous for her slightness, grace, beauty and excellent dancing skill in the history of China.

 

Unlike other famous beauties, her life with her husband emperor, however, made her quite controversial.

 

From A Gorgouses Dancer to the Queen

Zhao Feiyan and her sister Hede were selected to learn singing and dancing in a princess’ place when they were very young.

 

The current emperor Liu Ao liked her at first sight when he paid a visit to the princess. Feiyan was brought back to the royal palace, she then took her younger sister Hede along with her.

 

From that day on, the emperor only liked them and forgot his other imperial concubines. Zhao Feiyan soon became the second queen of Ao, after she informed against the former queen. 

 

Feiyan was very slender and beautiful and she could dance in a delicate golden tray.

 

It is said that she and Hede always used a kind of pill, which could bring them tender and silken skin and stay young, but couldn’t get pregnant.

 

They had no babies during more than 10 years with the emperor; other concubines didn’t have any babies either.

 

Some believed Hede, maybe Feiyan herself included, killed other offsprings of the emperor. 

Feiyan recommended a nephew of Emperor Liu Ao to inherit the crown, she and Hede played an important role in making him the crown prince.

 

After emperor Liu Ao suddenly died in her sister Hede’s bed, and Hede committed suicide, this nephew ascended to the throne.

 

He nominated and respected Feiyan as empress dowager, despite many ministers tried to abolish her and perish her clan. 

The Empress Dowager Who Committed Suicide 

But the new emperor passed away 6 years later, some people again tried to let Zhao Feiyan take responsibility for seducing emperor Liu Ao, making him have no kids and had done unspeakable things with her sister Hede.

 

Consequently, she was banished back to a civilian and was sent to her husband’s grave; she committed suicide on the same day. 

 

Besides “seducing” her emperor husband and bringing her sister Hede into the palace, there was no concrete evidence to show that she actually did other horrible things that people believed she did.

 

The truth probably will be buried in history forever, but she was frequently mentioned in literature and poetry for her beauty and amazing dancing.