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Greatest Chinese Love Stories

A selection of some of the greatest Chinese Love stories

12·12·2013

Greatest Chinese Love Stories

A selection of some of the greatest Chinese Love stories

12·12·2013

Love, love, love, that delirious, enthralling emotion that consumes you, eats you up, spits you out, but still, somehow, leaves you thirsting for more. Yes, everybody likes a good a love story and the Chinese are – of course – no different. Judging from the vast swathes of the myth, legend and literature of love that crop up in Chinese culture, the Chinese are and have always been into a whole lotta love. Here is a selection of some of the greatest classical tales of Chinese love.

Via China Whisper.

1. The Legend of the White Snake

Characters from the Legend of the White Snake.Image courtesy of China Whisper.

Characters from the Legend of the White Snake.
Image courtesy of China Whisper.

The Legend of the White Snake is a myth that has been passed down for generations and continues to capture the imaginations and hearts of the public today, with numerous television adaptations, movies, books, operas and modern dances.

It follows the character of Bai Suzhen (a snake demon or fairy depending on who you believe) and her quest to be with her lover Xu Xian. However, nothing is ever easy on the path of love, and the lovers have to contend with Fahai (who over time has become the villain of the tale) who try to break up their relationship. For more on the legend look here.

 

2. Song of Everlasting Regret

Song-of-Everlasting-Regret--pic

Emperor and his Concubine.
Image courtesy of Chinawhisper.

Song of Everlasting Regret is a Tang Dynasty poem by Bai Juyi (772-846), about the romance between Emperor Xuanzong and his beloved concubine Yang Yuhuan. The poem is based on the real-life historical events of the Emperor Xuanzong.

3. The Peacocks fly to the Southeast

The-Peacocks-Fly-to-the-Southeast--pic

The Peacocks Fly to the Southeast.
Image courtesy of Chinawhisper.

The Peacocks Fly to the Southeast by Xie Lingyun (385 – 433) is the first long narrative poem in Chinese literary history. Originally an oral piece, it was written down by an anonymous poet at the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty. It is a tragic love story about two lovers who are a different social status to each other.

4. The Chang’e Benyue

Chang-e-picImage courtesy of Chinawhiper

Chang-e
Image courtesy of Chinawhisper.

The Chang’e Benyue (Chang’e Flies to the Moon) is a beautiful legend from ancient China.  The love story is about Houyi and Chang’e. Their story includes hunting down excess suns, immortality pills and floating up to the moon.

The legacy is still referenced today, which can be seen by the name of Chinese lunar space probes.

5. Dream of the Red Chamber

 

Dream of the Red Chamber TV Series adaption.Image courtesy of Chinawhisper.

Dream of the Red Chamber TV Series adaption.
Image courtesy of Chinawhisper.

Dream of the Red Chamber, written by Cao Xueqin in the Qing Dynasty is one of China’s Four Great Classical Novels. A love triangle focusing on the relationship of Lin Daiyu and Jia Baoyu. However heartbreak follows when Jia Baoyu has to marry someone else.

For more of the great love stores, please see here.

Images courtesy of Chinawhisper.