Legend of the White Snake
The Legend of White Snake, also named ‘Forbidden Love’, It had become a major subject of several Chinese opera, films and TV series. nowadays, the well done opera is showing at the Beijing Culture palace of Nationalities in every night. While the story is classical in every sense the production itself is high tech. Subtitles on large displays are easy to read and have correct English. The story moves quickly, no long ballads or over drawn scenes. The background itself is made up of multiple video panels showing clear and dramatic scenery.
The Legend of the White Snake is a folk tale of Classic and known all over China. which existed as oral traditions before any written compilation. At its most basic, the story can backward to through thousands of years of cultivation on Mount Nan, that a snake spirit know as the Lady White joins the human world. She and a young man named Xu Xian fall in love and married. But their romance is hindered by a powerful monk, Fahai. He had intervenes in order to save the scholar’s soul and casts the white snake into a deep well at the Leifeng Pagoda!
Over the centuries the story has evolved from horror story to romance with the scholar and the white snake-woman genuinely in love with one another, but such a relationship is forbidden by the laws of Heaven. There have also been variations on the telling of the story: like the scholar adopting the white snake as a pet while still a schoolboy; or himself being banished from Heaven and becoming a mere human on Earth.
Other Story for Legend of the White Snake
Lü Dongbin, one of the Eight Immortals, disguises himself as a man selling tangyuan at the Broken Bridge (斷橋) near the West Lake in Hangzhou. A boy called Xu Xian (simplified Chinese: 许仙; traditional Chinese: 許仙; Mandarin Pinyin: Xǔ Xiān; Jyutping: Heoi2 Sin1) buys some tangyuan from Lü Dongbin, not knowing that the tangyuan are actually immortal pills. He does not feel hungry for the next three days after eating the tangyuan and is so puzzled that he goes back to ask the seller. Lü Dongbin laughs and carries Xu Xian to the bridge and flips him upside down, causing Xu to vomit out the pills into the lake.
There is a white snake spirit in the lake, who was practising Taoist magical arts in the hope of becoming an immortal after centuries of training and cultivation. The white snake eats the pills vomited out by Xu Xian and she gains 500 years worth of magic powers. The white snake is grateful to Xu Xian and their fates became intertwined. There is another terrapin (or tortoise) spirit also training inside the lake and he did not manage to consume any of the pills, so he becomes very jealous of the white snake. One day, the white snake sees a beggar on the bridge, who has caught a green snake and wants to dig out the snake’s gall and sell it. The white snake transforms into a woman and buys the green snake from the beggar, saving the green snake’s life. The green snake is grateful to the white snake and she regards the white snake as an older sister.
18 years later, during the Qingming Festival, the white and green snakes transform themselves into two young women, called Bai Suzhen (simplified Chinese: 白素贞; traditional Chinese: 白素貞; Mandarin Pinyin: Bái Sùzhēn; Jyutping: Baak6 Sou3-zing1) and Xiaoqing (Chinese: 小青; Mandarin Pinyin: Xiǎoqīng; Jyutping: Siu2-cing1) respectively. They travel to Hangzhou and meet Xu Xian at the Broken Bridge, and Xu lends them his umbrella because it is raining. Xu Xian and Bai Suzhen gradually fall in love with each other and are eventually married. They move to Zhenjiang and open a medicine shop there.
In the meantime, the terrapin spirit has accumulated enough powers to take human form, and he transforms into a Buddhist monk called Fahai (Chinese: 法海; Mandarin Pinyin: Fáhǎi; Jyutping: Faat3-hoi2). Fahai is still angry with Bai Suzhen and he plots to break up her relationship with Xu Xian. He approaches Xu Xian and tells Xu to let his wife drink realgar wine (雄黃酒) during the Duanwu Festival. Bai Suzhen unsuspectingly reveals her true form as a large white snake after drinking the wine and Xu Xian dies of shock after seeing that his wife is not human. Bai Suzhen and Xiaoqing travel to Mount Emei, where they brave danger to steal a magical herb that restores Xu Xian to life.
After coming back to life, Xu Xian still maintains his love for Bai Suzhen despite knowing her true identity. Fahai tries to separate them again so he captures Xu Xian and imprisons him in Jinshan Temple (金山寺). Bai Suzhen and Xiaoqing fight with Fahai to rescue Xu Xian, and Bai uses her powers to flood the temple, drowning many innocent people in the process as well. However, Bai Suzhen’s powers are limited because she is already pregnant with Xu Xian’s child so she fails to save her husband. Xu Xian later manages to escape from Jinshan Temple and he reunites with his wife in Hangzhou, where Bai Suzhen gives birth to their son, Xu Mengjiao (simplified Chinese: 许梦蛟; traditional Chinese: 許夢蛟; Mandarin Pinyin: Xǔ Mèngjiāo; Jyutping: Heoi2 Mung6-gaau1). Fahai soon tracks them down and he defeats Bai Suzhen and imprisons her in Leifeng Pagoda.
20 years later, Xu Mengjiao tops the imperial examination and returns home in glory to visit his parents. At the same time, Xiaoqing, who escaped when Bai Suzhen was captured by Fahai, goes to Jinshan Temple to confront Fahai and succeeds in defeating him. Bai Suzhen is freed from Leifeng Pagoda and reunites with her husband and son, while Fahai flees and hides inside the stomach of a crab. There is a saying that a crab’s internal fat is orange because it resembles the colour of Fahai’s kasaya.