Traditions: Chinese Mythology
Who has not heard about Chinese culture? A good part of the legends that are part of it correspond to events, stories or stories that took place during the period of the three august and five emperors. Likewise, a good part of Chinese mythology is unique, although it shares certain characteristics with Japanese and Korean mythology. Chinese mythology is the term with which the result of each of the traditions and what has been identified is identified. listed as sacred in Chinese territory. They are centuries that have passed, indigenous divinities, Taoists, Buddhists, historical heroes and even literary characters that have been deified, those that make up this sea of beliefs. However, before talking about Chinese mythology, it is necessary to know that there are three major beliefs or religions, which are: Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. Of course they are not the only ones, but they are the most representative of this area.
According to historians, one of the main reasons why Chinese Mythology has become known is because of the existence of texts that date back to the Han dynasty. Because they are not more than 2,000 years old, they are writings that they can easily be classified as recent. One of the particularities to highlight is that they reinterpreted various concepts of mythology from the Chinese philosophical conception, thus transforming a few notions. Finally, to have an idea a little closer to what was the mythology of the "original" China, it is best to compare it with the stories of peoples from the Far East. In this sense, certain similarities with the mythology of Indo-European origin will be identified, with similarities to Greek, German or Slavic mythology.
Chinese myths are believed to have originated around the 12th century BC, and were passed down orally for over a thousand years before being recorded in books such as Shui Jing Zhu and Shan Hai Jing. These early works are the sources of the myths that exist today. There has been extensive interaction between Chinese mythology and the major belief systems of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Elements of pre-existing mythology were adapted to these belief systems, and some of the teachings and beliefs of these systems were also incorporated into Chinese mythology. For example, the Taoist belief in a spiritual paradise was incorporated into mythology, such as the place where immortals and deities live. The myths that glorify the benevolent rulers of the past, the Three August Ones and Five Emperors became part of Confucian political philosophy. Historians have conjectured that much of Chinese mythology originated in the 12th century B.C.E .. Myths and legends were passed down orally for over a thousand years, before being written down in ancient books such as Shui Jing Zhu and Shan Hai Jing. Other myths continued to be passed down through oral traditions such as theater, dance, and song, before being recorded in the form of novels such as Fengshen Yanyi. Most of the existing myths today are derived from these works.
China is a multi-denominational country. Therefore, within their traditions of the Chinese people, there is the practice of Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism and Confucianism. Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Constitution of the People's Republic of China. In the State Council, there is a special body charged with assisting all faith groups in China.
One of the most widespread religions in China is Buddhism. Buddhism came to China from India via the caravan routes of the Great Silk Road in the 2nd century BC. Today, Buddhism is practiced in Tibet and Inner Mongolia, as well as other parts of China. The country has 9,500 Buddhist temples and monasteries, many of them built more than two thousand years ago. To bring together Buddhists of all nationalities, the Chinese Buddhist Society was founded in 1953.
The most widespread religion in China is Taoism. The history of Taoism dates back almost 1,700 years. This religion is indigenous and is basically professed in the rural areas of central and eastern China. Taoism is a traditional Chinese religious teaching on "the way of things" - Tao, which combines elements of religion and philosophy.
Islam is also widely professed in China, especially in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, where Muslims make up 95% of the population. In addition, this religion is practiced by the inhabitants of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, and some regions of the Gansu and Qinghai provinces.
Islam came to China in the 8th century BC. from the territory of Central Asia. Currently, China has more than 17,000 Muslims and 26,000 mosques.