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Four Chinese Folk Love Stories

By Daisy Lee

7/28/2014

Apart from the classical literature works that are recorded in historical records, there are many folk myths and legends in classical literary treasure of China, among which, "The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl", "Meng Jiangnv", "Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai" ("Butterfly Lovers") and " The Legend of the White Snake" are known as Chinese Four Folk Love Stories. All these four legendary love stories reflected the people's recognition of sincere love from certain respect.

 

The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl
The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl

1. "The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl" is a very beautiful love story that has been passed on from generation to generation, and is one of the four Chinese folk love stories. As a phrase, it can be interpreted as: The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl are mythological figures, which are derived from constellation Cowherd and Vega. The term often refers a couple who live far away from each other, and usually a pair of lovers. Besides, there are introduction about related legends and stories, as well as the drama and television plays that have the same title. In addition, on the annual Lunar Double Seventh Night, many magpies fly to the Milky Way and form a bridge, so that the Cowherd and Weaver Girl can meet each other on the bridge. Therefore, this day is called Double Seventh Night, Magpie Festival, Qiqiao Festival, girl festival or daughter Festival, and it has been called the Chinese Valentine's Day in recent years.

Meng Jiangnv
Meng Jiangnv

Meng Jiangnv 2

2. "Meng Jiangnv", also known as "December Flower," is a folk tale about Meng Jiangnv weeping over the Great Wall, it is a famous Chinese which is widespread by people in the form of play, song, poetry and rap, it is known to every household. Legend has it that in the period of Qin Shi Huang, the labor duties were heavy, a young man named Fan Xiliang was forced to leave his wife Meng Jiangnv three days just after the wedding, and started to build the Great Wall. He died soon because of hunger, cold and fatigue, his body was buried under the Great Wall. Meng Jiangnv carried with her warm clothes for her husband, overcame difficulties and travelled thousands of miles to look for her husband. When she came to the Great Wall, she only found the bad news of her husband's death. She wept over the Great Wall for three days and three nights, the wall cracked and exposed Fan Xiliang’s corpse, Meng Jiangnv threw herself into the sea in despair.

Chinese Romeo and Juliet
Chinese Romeo and Juliet

3. "Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai" is the most influential oral story in China, and is the only Chinese folk story that has far-reaching impacts in the world. The Story has been passed on in China for more than one thousand four hundred and sixty years. Due to its far-reaching influence, it is widely known to Chinese people and is reputed as the eternal love story. Since ancient times, countless people have been influenced by the tragic love between Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai. "Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai" is reputed as the Oriental "Romeo and Juliet".

The Legend of the White Snake
The Legend of the White Snake

4. "The Legend of the White Snake" tells a tortuous love story between a snake fairy who practices in an adult and a common man. The story includes borrowing umbrella in a boat, the White Snake stealing fungus of immortality, flooding the Pagoda, the broken bridge, Leifeng Tower, Xu Shilin visiting the tower, Fahai lodging in the body of crab to escape death. It expresses people’s yearning and admiration for freedom of love, as well as their resent towards the unreasonable boundaries to feudal forces. It is included in the list of "the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage". Many TV dramas and cartoons are produced with this story as a prototype.

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