Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gods And Goddesses: Yellow Emperor

The Yellow Emperor, better known as Huang Di (also spelt Huangdi), is the man said to be the ancestor of all Chinese, the founder of Chinese civilization and the first of a group known as the Three Sovereigns where he ruled from 2697 to 2587 BC or 2696 to 2598 BC. The name of the Yellow Emperor is Gongsun Xuanyuan and his birth is said to be in Shou Qiu (which is modern day Qufu found within the Shandong Province), becoming first a farmer then later founder of Chinese civilisation.

Before Huang Di became an emperor, order and government is said to be unknown to the world, which he is credited for. During his reign as emperor, Huang Di is said to have been challenged by a rebel god, aided by the Yellow Emperor’s son Fei Lian, whom sent fog and rain to drown imperial armies. However, Huang Di’s daughter, Ba, used her powers to dry up the rain and helped greatly with defeating the rebel god and Fei Lian.

Huang Di is said to have has many achievements, including teaching how to build shelters, how to tame wild animals and how to grow what is known as the five cereals. Huang Di is also known as an inventor, having credit for the invention of carts, boats, bow sling, Chinese astronomy, the Chinese calendar, sound laws, a type of football and clothing. Huang Di also requested a historian, Cang Jie, to create the first Chinese character writing system, with such a request being taken and done. Huang Di also had a wife, Leizu, who taught how to weave silk from Bombyx mori silkworms and how to dye clothes.

Along with gods Fu Xi and Shennong, Huang Di took part in the creation of the musical instrument  known as the guqin.
Huang Di is said to have had an interest with medicine and introduced one of the earliest forms of martial arts in China due to this interest, seeing martial arts as a source of good health and self-defence.

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