Folktales and legends in China

Hello everyone,

Time to spark your imagination! Below is a list of questions to pique your interest in folktales and legends associated with China.

1. Name 3 popular legends that have been passed down from generation to generation in China.
2. Name 2 famous legendary, heroic characters part of Chinese folklore.
3. Which are the villains which feature in local folktales?
4. Have any legends/folktales led to common superstitious beliefs or practices observed today in China?
5. Have you come across any folktale with a message which has struck you as interesting?

Thanks for participating,

Li Chi Slays the Serpent
Li Tan and his wife had raised six daughters, but had no sons. They loved their daughters very much, despite the fact that they lived in a society that equated having daughters with being childless. The family lived in Chianglo county in Fukien, located in the ancient state of Yueh.
In Fukien, the Yung mountain range towered to a height of many miles at the peaks. A giant serpent, which inhabited a cleft in the northwest part of these mountains, had terrorized the people of the region for nearly a decade. Wider than the span of ten hands and over seventy feet long, the monster was unappeased by offerings of oxen or sheep, and already many officers and magistrates from nearby town had been killed.
By entering men's minds in dreams and through mediums, the beast had made its demands known: a young girl of twelve or thirteen to feast upon once a year was its price to stave off terror and murder. And so it had been, for nine years, in the eighth month of each year, a young girl was delivered to the the temple at the mouth of the serpent's cave, where they were devoured.
The search began in the tenth year for the daughter of a bondmaid or criminal, and Li Tan's youngest daughter, Li Chi, responded by volunteering. Against her parent's protests, she said, "Dear parents, you have no one to depend on, having not a single son. I only waste your good food and clothes. Since I'm no use to you alive, what could be wrong in selling me to gain a bit of money for yourselves?"
But her parents refused, and so Li Chi went secretly. The girl asked authorities for two items....a sharp sword and a snake-hunting dog. On the appointed day, she seated herself in the temple, the dog at her side, sword clutched in her hand. Then she took several pecks of rice balls sweetened with malt suger, and placed them at the entrance to the dreaded cave.
The serpent smelled the sweet rice balls and, with eyes like mirrors two feet across and a monstrous head, it appeared and opened its mouth to eat them. Li Chi unleashed the snake-hunting dog, which bit hard into the serpent, and then she came from behind with her sword, digging several deep cuts into the serpent. So painful were its injuries, it disappeared into the bowels of the cave and died.
Li Chi entered the cave and retrieved the skulls of the nine victims who died before her, and she cried out, "For your timidity you were devoured. How pitiful!"
Upon learning of her achievements and bravery, the king of Yueh made Li Chi his queen and appointed her father magistrate, giving the family great riches and position.
Never again was the district set upon by monsters, and to this day, ballads celebrating Li Chi survive.

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