Folklore and Myth Thursday – Week 24 – X

Welcome to week 24! This week I’ll be focusing on figures starting with ‘X’. These are the Xian, Xuan Zang, and Xi-he.

The Xian

According to Chinese mythology, the Xian “are beings who have gained immortality … [they] are not deities, but have been granted the gift of eternal life” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:486). These immortals can be celestial or terrestrial (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:486). Those who are celestial live in “Tian, the Daoist heaven, or th eisles of the immortals situated in the Eastern Sea, or in the Kunlun Mountains” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:486). The immortals are able to change their appearance, “and are often represented riding on the backs of cranes” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:486). “The terrestrial immortals live in forests and mountains” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:486).

Xuan Zang

Xuan Zang was “a celebrated Buddhist monk of the seventh century AD” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:486). “Some of his bones are still revered in temples in China and Japan” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:486).

See also Cotterell & Storm (2007:486) for details on the Xi You Ji by Wu Zheng-en.


Also known as Hsi Ho, Xi-he, according to Chinese mythology “is the mother of the ten suns and the wife of Taiyun Djun, the god of the eastern sky” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:483).

Sources and Other Websites

Read the previous posts in this series by clicking here.

The official #FolkloreThursday site can be read over here and remember to follow the Twitter conversation using the #FolkloreThursday tag.

Check out The Folklore Podcast – Old Hag Syndrome! Fairies! Slenderman! An interview with me! Awesomeness! And more!

Also be sure to stop by Ronel’s blog for her folklore and fiction posts!


Cotterell, A. & R. Storm. (2007). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology. London: Hermes House.

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.

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