Showing posts from May, 2013

月下老人, the Taiwanese god of romance

A few months ago in Chinese class we learned a little bit about 月下老人, or "the old man of the moonlight." He is worshipped in many temples in Taiwan and I first got to meet him in Tainan I believe.

His legend is as follows:
In the Tang Dynasty a man named Wei Gu found an old man sitting under a tree during a full moon. This man was holding a thick book and a bag full of red strings. Wei Gu asked this man who he was and why he had those objects. Yue Lao (月下老人) said that in his book is the list of all the marriages that have been/are/will be, and the red strings are used to bind soulmates together. Wei Gu didn't believe in Yue Lao's power so Yue Lao pointed out a nanny caring a baby. He said that the baby will be Wei Gu's future wife. Wei Gu didn't like that idea so he ordered his servant to stab the baby to death. Years later Wei Gu ends up marrying the baby, because she wasn't fatally wounded in the attack.

Now people pay respects to 月下老人 in order to as…