Chinese mythology

Moderator: OldBoring

User avatar
Forum Administrator
Posts: 7832
Joined: 2002-07-12, 22:44
Location: Lisboa
Country: PT Portugal (Portugal)

Postby Luís » 2005-06-18, 18:40

Psi-Lord wrote:And if you want to laugh a bit (or just get pissed off, hehe), check


When I had Classical Chinese Culture classes last semester, we talked about chinese creation myths for a while. Curiously enough, some of the details are really similar to what we have in the West (and namely in the Bible).

For instance, 盘古 (Pangu), creator of the universe:

"In the beginning there was nothing except chaos"

"Pangu separated Yin from Yang with his giant axe, creating the Earth and the Sky, which became thus separated".

Or the story of 女娲 (Nüwa), who created the world in 7 days, making human beings out of clay.

Sounds familiar? ;)
Quot linguas calles, tot homines vales

User avatar
Posts: 890
Joined: 2003-05-29, 5:16
Real Name: 君君
Gender: male
Location: :o)
Country: KP North Korea (조선)

Postby 勺园之鬼 » 2005-06-19, 9:55

I hope you don't mind that I divided that, I would like to keep the conversation on the other thread on the topic, and this is interesting enough to open another thread.

Here is a text about 女娲 that might make you interested:


女娲是中国历史神话传说中的一位女神。与伏羲为兄妹。人首蛇身,相传曾炼五色石以补天,并抟土造人,制嫁娶之礼,延续人类生命,造化世上生灵万物。 女娲是中华民族伟大的母亲,她慈祥地创造了我们,又勇敢的照顾我们免受天灾。是被民间广泛而又长久崇拜的创世神和始祖神。她神通广大化生万物,每天至少能创造出七十样东西。


女娲补天的记录见于《淮南子》:在洪荒时代,水神共工和火神祝融因故吵架而大打出手, 最后祝融打败了共工,水神共工因打输而羞愤的朝西方的不周山撞去, 哪知那不周山是撑天的柱子,不周山崩裂了,撑支天地之间的大柱断折了,天倒下了半边,出现了一个大窟窿,地也陷成一道道大裂纹,山林烧起了大火,洪水从地底下喷涌出来,龙蛇猛兽也出来吞食人民。人类面临着空前大灾难。




Taken from:

I am rather in a hurry so I won't explain/comment/translate for now. ;)

User avatar
Forum Administrator
Posts: 7832
Joined: 2002-07-12, 22:44
Location: Lisboa
Country: PT Portugal (Portugal)

Postby Luís » 2005-06-19, 10:19

Unfortunately, I can't understand that Chinese text.

One characteristic about these myths is that they have dozens of versions (for instance, when it comes to which part of Pangu's body gave origin to what or what exactly Nüwa did).

Here's one version of each myth:

In the beginning there was darkness everywhere, and Chaos ruled. Within the darkness there formed an egg, and inside the egg the giant Pangu came into being. For aeons, safely inside the egg, Pangu slept and grew. When he had grown to gigantic size he stretched his huge limbs and in so doing broke the egg. The lighter parts of the egg floated upwards to form the heavens and the denser parts sank downwards, to become the earth. And so was formed earth and sky, Yin and Yang.

Pangu saw what had happened and he was pleased. But he feared that heaven and earth might meld together again, so he placed himself between them, his head holding up the sky and his feet firmly upon the earth. Pangu continued to grow at a rate of ten feet a day for 18,000 years, so increasing the distance between heaven and earth, until they seemed fixed and secure, 30,000 miles apart. Now exhausted, Pangu went back to sleep and never woke up.

Pangu died, and his body went to make the world and all its elements. The wind and clouds were formed from his breath, his voice was thunder and lightning, his eyes became the sun and moon, his arms and his legs became the four directions of the compass and his trunk became the mountains. His flesh turned into the soil and the trees that grow on it, his blood into the rivers that flow and his veins into paths men travel. His body hair became the grass and herbs, and his skin the same, while precious stones and minerals were formed from his bones and teeth. His sweat became the dew and the hair of his head became the stars that trail throughout heaven. As for the parasites on his body, these became the divers races of humankind.

Although Pangu is dead, some say he is still responsible for the weather, which fluctuates according to his moods


"Pangu saw what had happened and he was pleased."
This sounds familiar too ;)

She and her husband Fu Xi, the first of the San Huang, are often called the "parents of humankind", as in one myth they were said to be ancestors of humankind. With Fu Xi she is often depicted with the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a snake or dragon as it was in the form of dragons that she and her husband carved out the rivers of the world and drained the floods.

She is charged with the upkeep and maintenance of the Wall of Heaven , whose collapse would obliterate everything.

The Creation of the Human Race
It is said that Nüwa existed in the beginning of the world. She felt lonely as there were no animals so she began the creation of animals and humans. On the first day she created chickens. On the second day she created dogs. On the third day she created sheep. On the forth day she created pigs. On the fifth day she created cows. On the sixth day she created horses. On the seventh day she began creating men from yellow clay, sculpting each one individually, yet after she had created hundreds of figures in this way she still had more to make but had grown tired of the laborious process. So instead of hand crafting each figure, she dipped a rope in clay and flicked it so blobs of clay landed everywhere; each of these blobs became a person. In this way, the story relates, were nobles and commoners created from the hand crafted figures and the blobs respectively. Another variation on this story relates that some of the figures melted in the rain as Nüwa was waiting for them to dry and in this way sickness and physical abnormalities came into existence.
Quot linguas calles, tot homines vales

Posts: 33
Joined: 2004-08-26, 22:59
Real Name: L.J
Gender: male
Location: paris
Country: FR France (France)

Postby chavier » 2005-08-03, 4:39

we have a festival from this myth, called Renri(人日),that means everybody's birthday! It is on the seventh day of the the first lunar month, that' when Nvwa created the humans。But i think this this festival is just known in some southern provinces where the old customs still can be found!

Return to “Chinese (中文)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest