Watching the lanterns on the Lantern Festival — a duet from Yueju Opera “The Legend of Fish” by actress Wang Zhiping (王志萍) as the fish and actress Huang Hui (黄慧) as the scholar.

The legendary inter-species romance goes like this:

A talented young scholar had no money so he had no honey, and his rich and powerful fiancee’s family wanted to untie the knot.

But a 1,000-year-old fish he fed daily had fallen in love with him and decided to prove no money could still have honey. She thus assumed his fiancee’s appearance to date the man.

On the first full moon night of the year, the couple went to watch the lantern parade. The duet shown in the video depicts all sorts of themed lanterns they saw, including Bodhisattvas, Daoist immortals, mythical creatures of lions and dragons, legendary beauties, love tales between a man and a fairy, between a man and a snake

The happy occasion, however, came to a sudden end when the couple was spotted by the fiancee’s father who thought the fish was his daughter. So the case was brought before the judge, and the judge then met his imposter, the fish’s friend turtle.

Thus the situation became a bit complicated …. but eventually the human judge’s consciousness won the day and the fish and the man were declared not guilty.

Unlike Greek mythology, in which it is usually a male celestial being seduces a young human girl; in Chinese tales, inter-species romance is normally conducted between an old, and very, very old female alien and a young man:D

The full-length video of the opera was made into a film in 1959. The scholar was played by Xu Yulan (徐玉兰), an actress who created Xu-style for young male role, and the fish by Wang Wenjuan (王文娟), the founder of Wang-style for the young female role.

2 thought on “The Love Story of a Chinese Mermaid”
    1. I think if a man has a very good intangible quality (minds, talents, personalities), he could still attract a like-minded girl even though he might be poor with tangible assets.

You are welcome to share your thoughts here