Fairy Couple

Fairy Couple

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Encyclopedia
Tian Xian Pei sometimes translated as Fairy Couple, is a Chinese legend, which existed as oral traditions before any written compilation. It has since become a major subject of several Chinese opera
Chinese opera
Chinese opera is a popular form of drama and musical theatre in China with roots going back as far as the third century CE...

, films and TV series.

Story


The seven daughters of the Jade Emperor
Jade Emperor
The Jade Emperor in Chinese folk culture, is the ruler of Heaven and all realms of existence below including that of Man and Hell, according to a version of Taoist mythology. He is one of the most important gods of the Chinese traditional religion pantheon...

 travel to the mortal world. The youngest of the seventh fairy maiden was in search of her lost weaving equipment and the " feather coat " - without which she was unable to fly. Another version of story states that the seventh fairy's flying " feather coat " was actually taken by a mortal named Dong Yong on purpose, advised by his cattle - which happened to be an exiled fairy as well and undercover the form of a normal old bull. During the staying the maiden falls in love with Dong Yong, a poor worker who had sold himself into servitude to pay for his father's funeral. With help of the other fairies, the seventh fairy managed to weave ten pieces of brocade
Brocade
Brocade is a class of richly decorative shuttle-woven fabrics, often made in colored silks and with or without gold and silver threads. The name, related to the same root as the word "broccoli," comes from Italian broccato meaning "embossed cloth," originally past participle of the verb broccare...

 for Dong Yong to pay off his debt, shortening his indenture to 100 days. Before the couple can begin their life together, the Jade Emperor orders his daughters to return home, however kind enough to allow the couple reunite only once a year at the 七夕 (the 7th evening) - later known as the traditional Chinese Qixi Festival across the Milky Way
Milky Way
The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains the Solar System. This name derives from its appearance as a dim un-resolved "milky" glowing band arching across the night sky...

.

The ancient Chinese astrologer named two of the observed far apart star 牛郎 (literally 'shepherd man') and 織女 (literally 'weaving girl') - nowadays recognized as Altair and Vega
Vega
Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, the fifth brightest star in the night sky and the second brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere, after Arcturus...

 in memory of this story.

Adaptations

  • The story has been performed numerous times in Peking opera, Cantonese opera
    Cantonese opera
    Cantonese opera is one of the major categories in Chinese opera, originating in southern China's Cantonese culture. It is popular in Guangdong, Guangxi, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Malaysia. Like all versions of Chinese opera, it is a traditional Chinese art form, involving music, singing,...

     and other Chinese opera
    Chinese opera
    Chinese opera is a popular form of drama and musical theatre in China with roots going back as far as the third century CE...

    s.

Films

Year | Production | Additional information
1956 Mainland China Fairy Couple (天仙配)
1963 Mainland China A Maid from Heaven (七仙女)

Television series

Year | Production | Additional information
1997 Mainland China New Fairy Couple (新天仙配)
2005 Chinese Entertainment Shanghai (Mainland China) The Little Fairy
The Little Fairy
-Tracklisting:#Yiyan Wannian - Performed by S.H.E #Qiannian Lei - Performed by Tank#Tianliang Yihou - Performed by Hu Ge...

(天外飛仙)
Beijing Advantages Competition Internationa Culture and Arts & Jiangxi TV Co., Ltd. (Mainland China) Huan Tian Xi Di Qi Xian Nu (歡天喜地七仙女)
2007 Mainland China Fairy Couple (天仙配)
2010 Mainland China Huan Tian Xi Di Qi Xian Nu II (歡天喜地七仙女 贰)