Everyone knows the Cinderella story, but did you know that there was a Chinese Cinderella story, from over 1,500 years ago? Instead of a fairy god mother, it was a fish and an old man that helped the Chinese Cinderella get to her ball. Did she have crystal shoes too? Well, sort of but not quite.
The Hua Mountain in China is known for its steepness and legend has it that it was split open by a little boy named Chen Xiang. Why would he do that and how did he do that?
Once upon a time, a White Snake Fairy fell in love with a young man in the mortal world. Marriage followed and all was well until the Dragon Boat Festival came around. What happened during the festival and did the husband ever find out about her true identity?
Have you been to the Great Wall in Beijing or the Pyramids in Egypt? Have you ever wondered how these were built, one stone on top of another, without any modern machinery? These wonders of the world are so awe-inspiring to look at, but on the other hand, they were also built with the lives of so many. Here is one sad legend about the Great Wall.
If you feel like you've had enough of fairies, monsters and magical beasts, don't go away, because today's show will be about ancient weapons, some with magical powers of their own. Swords, daggers and tales of revenge!
If you have the opportunity to travel around the countryside in China, you might notice these fierce looking gods painted on red paper pasted onto the family gates. Who are these and what are they for?
Have you ever wished that you could live like a fairy or some sort of immortal? The immortals are known to live a carefree life in Chinese culture, but there was this really famous gang of Eight Immortals that actually got into a lot of trouble. What happened?
What would it be like to live for 800 years? As far as I know, only a few historical characters could know about that. A man named Peng Zu was among them. What was his secret?
How much damage can a little boy do? Well, a lot I suppose. But this little boy called Ne Zha trumps them all. What kind of waves did he make? Big and mess ones for sure.
Jiang Ziya was an unusual old man, a household name in China, even though he lived some three thousand years ago. Many remember him as this kind and wise old man from the TV series in the 1990s, someone who always knew the right thing to do and also had a clever plan.
People have been celebrating Valentine's Day since the year 496 in the west. Is there a similar celebration in China? Yes and no. We do have a Valentine's Day but it all started with a rather sad story, involving once again, the Queen Mother of the West.
Would anyone like to learn a thing or two about becoming an immortal? What about some pills from the Queen Moather of the West and throw in some doughnut peaches too! Interested?
In the past few episodes, we've talked about some magical creatures in Chinese mythology, have you ever wondered if there were any magical plants? Today, I will introduce two fascinating plants that I hope had really existed. Actually, I wish they were still around.
In this episode, we continue with good magical creatures. The ones I am talking about today are called Pi Xiu and Zou Yu, each representing wealth and peace. However, there is not really a consensus on their appearances. Over the years, people have spent a lot of time discussing and probably arguing over what these mythical creatures actually looked like.
After stories of evil monsters, I would like to introduce a nice and good one called “Xie Zhi”. The mythical creature looks a bit like a goat, or at least initially it did, except that it has only one horn. Xie Zhi loathes liars, and his horn was reserved for people who did bad things and then lied about it, basically criminals.
I'm not sure if other cultures have their symbols for greediness, in China, we have the monster named Tao Tie, the two characters also stand for a "big feast"! I guess you can make that connection. So what's he like?
Monsters come in all shape and sizes, but you probably haven't heard of one like this! With a name of Hun Tun, or Chaos, the monster can't be good.
Sure you've heard of the magical bird that arises from ashes, yes, the phoenix. But that's the ancient Greek species. In this episode, we will talk about the Chinese phoenix and also another kind of giant bird. Intrigued?
Today we turn our attention from emperors and giants to magical creatures in Chinese history. The one leading the way is of course the dragon. Hard to say whether or not they actually existed, but it's certainly a crucial symbol for the Chinese people. Have you ever thought about keeping a dragon as a pet? Someone did.
Thirty-one episodes into our podcast we are approaching the end of the ancient part of Chinese history and the start of the first known dynasty in China, called Xia. The founder of the Xia Dynasty was the son of the Great Yu and he was born out of a rock. How did that happen?
Great Yu spent years of his life taming the floods, only to have his work eaten up by a monster with nine heads...of snakes! Would it help to chop off those heads? Yes, but that led to problems of another kind. How did the Great Yu deal with all this?
The great man Yu is so important in Chinese history that we are devoting three episodes related to him. Today's story is about how he tamed the floods and how he passed his own house three times and never went in. Why didn't he?
In some sense, history is a record of the great disasters that have befallen the human race, one of which is flooding. How did ancient Chinese combat the floods? That story would have to start with the Great Yu, and that in turn would have to start with his father, Gun, who fought flood with magical mud. What is that?
Although it took many years, in fact decades, for Shun to eventually become the emperor, it was all worth it. There was finally peace under heaven. How did Shun manage that and who came after Shun?
What is an ideal leader like, in the minds of the Chinese people? I think the answer can be best demonstrated by learning about the two ancient Chinese emperors, Yao and Shun. Today we will talk about Emperor Shun, who had a quite unfortunate childhood. Why is that?