Feb 23

The folk of Lady White and Xu Xian

The folk of Lady White and Xu Xian (bái niáng zǐ hé xǔ xiān 白娘子和许仙) is one of the Chinese four greatest folklores. It reflects people’s recognition of love. The story goes like this: Taking the shapes of two women, White Snake (bái shé 白蛇), Bai Suzhen (bái sù zhēn 白素贞), and Green Snake (qīng shé 青蛇), Xiao Qing (xiǎo qīng 小青), toured on the West Lake (xī hú 西湖). A sudden heavy rain came at that time it sent everyone scurrying for shelter. When Bai Suzheng and Xiao Qing found their way, a young man holding up an umbrella protected them from the rain. The young man looked very handsome and gentle he was a local young scholar. Both Bai Suzheng and the young man flushed crimson with embarrassment when their eyes met together. They began to fall in love at that time. Seeing this, the clever Xiaoqing asked: ‘Thank you for your umbrella Sir, Could you tell us your name?’The young man replied: ‘My name is Xu Xian and I live in nearby the Broken Bridge(duàn qiáo 断桥).’ Then Bai Suzheng and Xiaoqin introduced themselves to the young man.

Lady White and Xu Xian

From that day, the three people often met together, Bai Suzheng and Xu Xian were getting along better and better, they soon married and set up business for running a drug store. The white snake was full of sympathy. The poor people were cost-free when they were cured of a disease in the drug store, therefore, their business get brisk day by day. And more and more patients went to see the white snake. Since she had a kind heart and often dressed in white the snake was called Lady White.

Lady White and Xu Xian

On a Dragon Boat Festival (duān wǔ jié 端午节), Xu offered an herb drink to White Snake. Resisting the effect of the herb in vain, White Snake turned back to a snake, which shocked Xu to death. To resurrect Xu, White Snake stole a magic herb from the Magic Mountain. With this herb, she brought Xu back to life.

Xu then went to the Jinshan Temple (jīn shān sì 金山寺) to thank god. There the monk Fa Hai (fǎ hǎi 法海) told him that the snake he saw on the Dragon Boat Festival was actually his wife. The frightened Xu was persuaded to stay in the temple. White Snake went to beg Fa Hai to return her husband to her but Fa showed no mercy on her. Desperately, White Snake fought with Fa Hai and summoned up a surging flood to Jianshan Temple. Unfortunately, she lost the battle due to the pregnancy.

After White Snake had given birth to a baby boy, Fa Hai arrived to capture her and put her under a pagoda. White Snake remained there until her son grew up, passed the officialexamination with high honors, and returned to beg for her release. Xiaoqing defeated the Monk Fahai and forced him to retreat into the stomach of a crab and helped Lady White out of the bottom of Leifeng Pagoda. From then on, Lady White was reunited with Xu Xian.

白娘子和许仙(白蛇传)
Lady White and Xiao Qing

      传说,有一条白蛇修炼了一千年,终于修成人形,化为美丽端庄的白娘子,另一条青蛇修炼了五百年,也化为富有青春活力的小青姑娘。她们二人结伴来到西湖游玩,当她们来到断桥时,白娘子在人群中看见一位清秀的白面书生,心中暗生情意。小青便悄悄地作法,降下大雨。白面书生许仙打着伞来到湖边乘船,正好看见白娘子和小青被大雨淋得很狼狈,许仙忙把自己的伞递过去让她们避雨,自己却躲得很远,任凭雨淋。白娘子看见许仙这样老实腼腆,心里更喜欢了,许仙也对美丽的白娘子产生了爱慕之情。在小青的撮合下,许仙和白娘子成了亲,并且在西湖边上开了一家药店,治病救人,乡亲们都很喜欢他们。

      但是金山寺的法师法海却认为白娘子是妖精,会祸害民间。他悄悄地告诉许仙,白娘子是白蛇化身而成,还教许仙怎样识别白蛇。许仙将信将疑。转眼端午节到了,老百姓都喝雄黄酒避邪,许仙按照法海教的办法,逼迫白娘子喝雄黄酒。白娘子这时候已经怀孕,她推却不了许仙,喝了酒后,马上现出蛇的原形,许仙立刻被吓死了。白娘子为了救活许仙,不顾自己怀孕,千里迢迢来到昆仑圣山偷盗起死回生的灵芝草。白娘子与守护灵芝草的护卫拼命恶战,护卫被白娘子感动了,将灵芝赠给她。许仙被救活以后,知道白娘子真心爱自己,夫妻更加恩爱。

      可是法海还是容不下白蛇在人间生活。他将许仙骗进金山寺,强迫他出家为僧。白娘子和小青非常愤怒,率领水族士兵攻打金山寺,想救出许仙。她们不断作法,引发洪水,金山寺被洪水包围,这就是传说中很有名的“水漫金山”。法海也大显法力,白娘子因为临产,打不过法海,只得在小青的保护下逃跑。

      多年后,小青修炼得道,重回西湖,她打败了法海,将西湖水吸干,将雷峰塔掀倒,终于救出了白娘子。

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