The Chinese Zodiac Culture 9- Monkey symbol

Thursday, January 12, 2023

The Chinese Zodiac not only integrates ordinary creatures into Chinese life, but its natural habits are endowed with many cultural meanings, from animals to gods, and receive respect and worship. Only the combination of natural creatures and cultural gods can form a complete impression of zodiac animals. Let’s go to learn more about Monkey生肖猴(sheng xiao hou).


There are many legends about "monkey as the ancestor of man". According to the book of mountains and seas, "it looks like Yu and has a gentle arm, and the leopard and tiger are good at casting, which is called raising the father". It can be seen that Kuafu (i.e. raising the father) is actually a monkey. The myth in Chengdu believes that Pangu opened the world, and Fuxi Nuwa among the monkeys bred human beings. The ancient Tubo recorded the changes of its ancestors in the records of the king of Tibet. In the myth of Qiang nationality, "Mu Jiezhu and ran Biwa", ran Biwa burned all the monkey hair and became a beautiful man.

Monkey king in journey to the west is the brilliant representative of monkey image. The prototype of the monkey king is said to be taken from the Indian God monkey Hanuman; It is also considered to be a mythical image of wuzhiqi. The Song Dynasty's "Taiping Guangji" depicts wuzhiqi as "good at dealing with language... Shaped like an ape... Golden eyes, snow teeth, a hundred feet of neck, more than nine elephants, fighting, squatting and galloping", which is similar to the martial arts skills of the monkey king. The monkey king was named Bi Mawen because the ancients believed that monkeys could "avoid horse plague", raising monkeys in stables could find the spread of sick horses in time, and stone monkeys were also carved on many stone piles tied to horses in Weinan, Shaanxi Province.

Monkey is homonymous with "Hou". Monkey riding means to seal the Hou immediately; monkey hanging a seal on the maple means to seal the Hou; one monkey riding on the back of another monkey means to seal the Hou for generations. Monkeys love to eat peaches, which symbolize longevity. The pattern of "monkey peach auspicious longevity" is also common in folk paper cutting, which is taken as the symbol of longevity.

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