How well do you know Chinese mythology?



9 Questions

What are the Four Symbols of Chinese cosmology?

Who was the first sentient being and creator in Chinese mythology?

Which dynasty was founded by Qi, who was born miraculously to his mother Jiandi after she swallowed a bird's egg?

Which of the following is NOT one of the twelve zodiacal animals in China?

Who is the patron deity of gay men who engage in same gender love and sexual activities?

Which of the following is NOT one of the first emperors in Chinese mythology?

Who is the legendary Taoist xian associated with the elixir of life and a symbolic protector of females in Chinese mythology?

Which of the following is NOT a major deity in Chinese mythology?

What is the Yubu, also known as the Steps or Paces of Yu, an example of in Chinese mythology?


Myths and Practices of the Chinese People:

  • Chinese mythology includes varied myths from regional and cultural traditions, often involving magical powers and taking place in exotic mythological places or times.

  • Mythology involves creation myths, origin of things, people, and culture, and prehistoric chronology, often with a culture hero as the ancestor of an ethnic group or dynastic family.

  • Chinese mythology forms an important part of Chinese folk religion and has been influenced by Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.

  • Mythology has been used to legitimize the dynasties of China, with the founding house of a dynasty claiming a divine descent.

  • Philosophical movements had a complicated relationship with mythology, with Liberal and Conservative groups associated with individuality and change and subordination of the individual to social groups, respectively.

  • Mythology exists in relationship with other aspects of society and culture, such as ritual, which various rituals are explained by mythology.

  • The Yubu, also known as the Steps or Paces of Yu, is an example of the relationship between Chinese mythology and ritual.

  • The mythology of China includes a mythological geography describing individual mythological descriptions of places and features, including a Heavenly world above the earth, a land of the dead beneath the earth, palaces beneath the sea, and various fantastic areas or features of the earth.

  • The Four Symbols of Chinese cosmology were the Azure Dragon of the East, the Black Tortoise of the North, the White Tiger of the West, and the Vermillion Bird of the South.

  • Various bodies of water appear in Chinese mythology, including oceans, rivers, streams, and ponds, and are part of a mythological geography with notable features, such as mythological islands or other mythological features.

  • Various other mythological locales include what are known as fairylands or paradises, pillars separating Earth and Sky, and ruined or otherwise in-between places.

  • Kunlun was pictured as having a mountain or mountain range where various divinities dwelt, grew fabulous plants, home to exotic animals, and various deities and immortals.Chinese Mythology: Key Points

  • Chinese mythology includes stories and myths about the creation of the world, human population, floods, and cultural developments.

  • The mythology of time and calendar includes twelve zodiacal animals and various divine or spiritual genii regulating or appointed as guardians for years, days, or hours.

  • The twelve zodiacal animals in China are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

  • Chinese mythology becomes specific about chronological time, based on the ganzhi system, numbers of human generations, or other details suggesting synchronization between the mythological chronology and the ideas of modern historians.

  • Various ideas about the creation of the universe, the earth, the sky, various deities and creatures, and the origin of various clans or ethnic groups of humans have circulated in the area of China for millennia.

  • One common story involves Pangu who was the first sentient being and creator, "making the heavens and the earth".

  • Various culture heroes have been said to have helped or saved humanity in many ways, such as stopping floods, teaching the use of fire, and so on.

  • The first emperors include Huangdi, Gaoyang (Zhuanxu), Gaoxin (Di Ku), Yao, and Shun. These emperors were said to be morally upright and benevolent, and examples to be emulated by latter-day kings and emperors.

  • Houji was a cultural hero, of the agricultural type while Chiyou was a metallurgical engineer, specializing in weaponry.

  • The mythological history of people (or at least the Han Chinese people) begins with two groups, one of three and one of five, followed by the Three Dynasties: Xia dynasty, Shang dynasty, and the Zhou dynasty.

  • Huang Di is an important figure in Chinese mythology and is sometimes translated into English as Yellow Emperor. His original name was Yellow Soil or Huangdi where di was the Chinese word for soil or ground.

  • Yao and Shun were important mythological rulers, exemplars of propriety in rulership. The Great Flood began during the reign of Yao and continued through the time of Shun.Overview of Chinese Mythology

  • Chinese mythology includes both semi-mythological and completely mythological stories, with common features like divine assistance in founding dynasties and reasons for it.

  • The story of the Great Flood is a significant mythological event in Chinese mythology, where Yu the Great became the founder of the Xia dynasty after serving Yao and Shun.

  • The Shang dynasty was founded by Qi, who was born miraculously to his mother Jiandi after she swallowed a bird's egg.

  • The Ji dynasty founded the Zhou dynasty, and their mythology includes the legendary founder Houji.

  • The rise of the Zhou dynasty also led to the development of the classic book I Ching, which includes the eight trigrams.

  • Chinese mythology includes various important deities, spirits, and mythological people, including shen, immortals, and beings derived from Buddhism and Daoism.

  • Major deities in Chinese mythology include Shangdi, the Jade Emperor, Nüwa, Fuxi, and Tian.

  • Daoism and Chinese mythology are closely related, with Old Man Laozi as one of the founders of Daoism.

  • Buddhist influences on Chinese mythology include Kṣitigarbha, the Four Heavenly Kings, Guanyin, and the Laughing Buddha.

  • Confucianism also influenced Chinese mythology, with ancestor veneration and worship of Confucius.Overview of Chinese Mythology

  • Chinese mythology includes both religion and mythology, with certain deities or spirits receiving special attention, such as divinities of wealth, longevity, fertility, etc.

  • Guandi, a god of brotherhood and social organizations, began as a Three Kingdoms general, Guan Yu.

  • Immortals (xiān) are humans who develop the ability to live indefinitely, avoiding death, and becoming divine, with special powers.

  • Magu is a legendary Taoist xian associated with the elixir of life, and is a symbolic protector of females in Chinese mythology.

  • Common beliefs and stories in Chinese mythology involve a soul or spirit that survives after the death of someone's body, with jiangshi being a type of re-animated corpse.

  • Various deities or spirits are associated with weather phenomena, such as drought or thunder, with Ba being one of the first goddesses attested to in Chinese literature.

  • Xi Wangmu, meaning Queen Mother of the West, is generally mythologically located in a western wonderland "to the west", now identified with the Kunlun of mythology, and is strongly identified with Daoism.

  • Mazu, a major goddess of the sea, is credited with leading to miraculous salvations at sea, protecting sailors and travelers from drowning.

  • The Chinese household was often the subject of mythology and related ritual, with the kitchen god Zao Jun being the most important.

  • Various deities and spirits have been mythologically associated with the welfare of areas of land and with cities, such as Houtu, Tudi, and City gods.

  • There are deities mythologically associated with various intimate aspects of human life, including motherhood, general sodality and formal syndicals, lifespan and fate, and war and death.

  • Tu'er Shen is a leveret or rabbit gay deity, patron of gay men who engage in same gender love and sexual activities.

  • Xingtian is a headless giant decapitated by the Yellow Emperor as punishment for challenging him.


Test your knowledge of Chinese mythology with our quiz! From the creation of the world to the twelve zodiacal animals, this quiz will challenge your understanding of the myths and practices of the Chinese people. Explore the relationship between mythology and religion, the importance of culture heroes, and the influence of philosophical movements. Discover the major deities and spirits, the mythology of time and calendar, and the significance of various mythological locales. Whether you're a mythology enthusiast or just curious about Chinese culture, this quiz

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