Chinese Cupid – Old Man under the Moon

The old man under the moon,commonly known as Yue Lao, is a Chinese deity in charged of marriage between man and woman.

The earliest account of Yue Lao is a story set during the Tang Dynasty. It tells about a young man Wei Gu’s unsuccessful attempts to find a wife. On another failed marriage prospect trip to a city called Song, he saw an old man reading under the moon. Curious, about his book, Wei Gu inquired from the old man who informed him it was the book of marriages and that his duty is to tie a red threat between a couple to make them husband and wife.

Old Man under the Moon

Desperate to find a wife, he asked if the old man could show him his future wife. Wei Gu’s was shown an old woman carrying a three year old child and they both seem to live in poverty. The three year old child was his future wife.

Incensed, he ordered his servant to murder the child. Fortunately, the servant only managed to injure the child.

Years later, a high official offered his daughter in marriage to Wei Gu who happily accepted and pleased that he finally found a wife. On the wedding night, he noticed a scar between her eye brows and enquired about it. His new wife told him about an incident where she was stabbed by a man in the City of Song.

Wei Gu realized his wife was that little girl whom he tried to kill.

This story spread and soon people began praying to that old man for help in marriage concerns. As no one knew his name, he was referred to as the Old Man under the moon, Yue Lao or Yue Lao Deity.

Old Man under the Moon

In the traditional Chinese marriage custom, the bride and bridegroom walks together holding a length of red cloth with a ribbon in the middle. This might be a symbolism of their match by Yue Lao.

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