Community, Stories

5 Interesting Chinese Mythologies

Ancient China is a land full of mystery and interesting mythologies of gods, goddesses, and other mythical creatures. Although it has varying themes, it focuses on one central element: the battle of commoners against great obstacles.

Here are 5 ancient fascinating Chinese mythologies to get you started:


1. The Monkey King

Sun Wukong is the most famous monkey in China. He is said to have been born from a stone egg from the Mountain of Fruit and Flowers. Legends say that he used to be very naughty and had plans to take over the world. According to Chinese mythology, Buddha trained him to be good and the Monkey King converted to Buddhism. Yet, he still used his Taoist knowledge and skill to fight off evil. There are many versions of the story of the Monkey King, but you can watch one of them here:


2. The White Snake

The White Snake is considered one of China’s Four Great Folktales. The story goes that the white snake spirit was practicing magical arts and suddenly turned into a beautiful lady. She then meets a green snake spirit who regards her as her savior and older sister. She also crosses paths with Xu Xian and they fall in love despite their relationship being forbidden by the laws of nature. Just like the Monkey King, the White Snake has several versions of the story and here is one of them:


3. The Moon Goddess

Chang’e, also known as Chang-O, is the goddess of the moon. The Moon Goddess is the wife of the famous archer, Hou Yi. He was famous as he was awarded the elixir of life after shooting down nine out of the ten sons that represented the sons of the Jade Emperor. One day, while Yi was out, Feng Meng (Hou Yi’s apprentice) broke into his house and tried to steal the elixir. Chang’e refused to give up the elixir so she drank it herself. After consuming the elixir, she became weightless which led her to fly up to the moon where she is today.


4. Nuwa

Nuwa, also known as Nugua, is the goddess of humankind and is considered as one of the most popular characters in ancient Chinese mythology. Mythology says that Nuwa was the one who created mankind and fixed the corners of the earth after Gong Gong destroyed it out of pure anger. She is known to be a matchmaker, too,  helping establish marriages and regulating conduct between two lovers.


5. Pangu

Pangu’s story is a creation myth in the Chinese culture. He is known as the first man that was created out of a cosmic head. Legend says that Pangu has two horns, two tusks, and a very hairy body. Ancient myths say that Pangu shaped the earth by chiseling valleys and stacking up mountains which was accomplished by his knowledge of the yin and yang. Here’s a more detailed explanation about Pangu:

Videos courtesy of Off the Great Wall, Jake Braymiller, China Highlights, The Chen Dynasty, and Woo Kong.

Leave a Reply