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Ancient Chinese Myths and Legends
Chinese legends reflect the dreams, history, and values of the Chinese people, and they link today with the past. Many of these tales are more than a thousand years old, but they are still popular today. In China, depictions of legendary characters are printed on greeting cards and calendars, carved on door and window frames, and painted on vases. Children learn these stories in school, and through comic books and cartoons. Legends are often the basis for plays and operas. The Moon Maiden, Monkey King, and other characters advertise products on television.
The sky and the earth were at first one blurred entity like an egg. Pan Gu was born into it. The separation of the sky and the earth took eighteen thousand years-the yang which was light and pure rose to become the sky, and the yin which was heavy and murky sank to form the earth. Between them was Pan Gu, who went through nine changes every day, his wisdom greater than that of the sky and his ability greater than that of the earth. Every day the sky rose ten feet higher, the earth became ten feet thicker, and Pan Gu grew ten feet taller. Another eighteen thousand years passed, and there was an extremely high sky, an extremely thick earth, and an extremely tall Pan Gu. Then came the Three Emperors: the Emperor of the Sky, the Emperor of the Earth, and the Emperor of Men.
So these numbers came into existence and evolve like this. The numb or begins with one, becomes established at three, is completed at five, prospers at seven, and ends in nine. So the sky is ninety thousand li from the earth.
After the eighteen thousand years had elapsed, Pan Gu was laid to rest. His breath became the wind; his voice the thunder; left eye the sun and right eye the moon; his body became the mountains and extremes of the world; his blood formed rivers; his muscles the fertile lands; his facial hair the stars and milky way; his fur the bushes and forests; his bones the valuable minerals; his bone marrows sacred diamonds; his sweat fell as rain; and the fleas on his fur carried by the wind became human beings all over the world. The distance from Earth and Sky at the end of the 18,000 years would have been 65,700,000 feet, or over 12,443 miles. Nvwa Mended the Firmament Nvwa is the ancestor of mankind in the mythology of ancient China. As legend goes, she smelted the five-colored stones to mend the firmament. cut off the feet of the great turtle to support the four pillars of the universe, controlled the flood, and drove away fierce beasts so as to let the people live in peace. Another legend says, she made persons with yellow clay, and married her brother, Emperor Fuxi, turning a relationship of brother and sister into a marriage, and multiplying mankind. Thus, later generations adored her as a goddess of marriage and reproduction, especially in charge of matters of copulation between men and women. Learners of cultural history regard her as a goddess that came into being in the era of worship of the female genital organ.
The popular story of "Nvwa Mended the Sky" was noted in "Huainanzi", written in Western Han ) (206 B.C.-24). It says, "In remote antiquity, the four poles of the universe collapsed, the sky cracked open, the earth was no longer able to support everything, fire ran wild everywhere without ceasing, and flood overflowed out of control. Fierce beasts ate common people, and ferocious birds attacked the old and the weak. Hence, Nvwa smelted the five-colored stones to mend the sky, cut off the feet of the great turtle to support the four poles, killed the black dragon to help the earth, and gathered the ash of reed to stop the flood."
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