China Beasts & Legends

A Collection

By Richard Tadd

Though many Chinese people would claim to have no faith, they are undeniably a very superstitious people. Multi-billion dollar companies consult with Feng Shui (风水 fēng shuǐ) masters to help them locate and design office spaces, entrepreneurs consult proclaimed masters of divination to help make important business decisions, and, every day, people place their health in the hands of practitioners of Chinese Medicine despite the fact that none of the treatments and remedies have ever been clinically proven.


At cetrain times throughout the year you can see people on the streets huddled around piles of burning paper money (纸钱 zhǐ qián) within an unclosed circle drawn with chalk on the floor in an ancient ritual to send money to their loved ones in the afterlife - known in Chinese as Di Yu (地域 dì yù). Chinese people strongly believe that their ancestors watch over them and burn this money for them to spend in the afterlife to ease their passing before they are reincarnated. This ritual will be conducted 1-4 times (some times more) a year around certain dates, for example, during Tomb Sweeping Day (清明节 qīng míng jié).


After reading and learning about these mythologies and superstitions for some time now, I've decided to put pen to paper (or more accurately, fingers to keyboard) and attempt to catalogue them as I've found there is very little accessible content regarding some of these fascinating stories - especially in English - that I believe need to be heard by more people.


This website is a work in progress and support is always welcome! If you have any feedback or positive criticism, please get in touch.

Discovering the Beasts & Legends of Chinese folklore