Historical Overview of Chinese Folk and Fairy Tales

China’s population is beyond 1.3 billion people ranking it as the most populated country on Earth.  Chinese civilization is one of the oldest, at nearly 4000 years old, in the world.  Chinese Folklore and Fairy Tales goes beyond text as it is conveyed through song, dance, and artwork.  Stories often explain the nature of humans in addition to explaining historical and legendary events throughout history. Love and desire are also popular topics in Chinese Folk and Fairy Tale stories. Supernatural beings are frequently portrayed in Chinese literature, especially the dragon.  the dragon is arguably the most important creature in Chinese Mythology. The dragon is a symbol of power and advocate of gods.

Originally Folk songs were accompanied by dance to elevate storytelling to a well respected type of performance.  Chinese Folklore and Fairytales were also heavily influenced by Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism.  These stories fell out of favor for centuries as China thought to elevate itself.  Most of these stories are written or told in vernacular Chinese, or commoner’s speech.  It was not until the 1920’s Chinese folklore became popular again as a movement began to accept this version of Chinese in education and literature.  As these works were rediscovered, a lost connection to its past was reclaimed in the form of Chinese Folklore and Fairy Tales.

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