Legends about fox becoming fairy, or 狐狸要成仙


This Chinese legend, known as “狐狸要成仙,” or (Fox Becoming Fairy), is a widely recognized story within the culture. It has been passed down through generations, serving as a part of the shared cultural knowledge.


The name of the legend (in manderain ): “狐狸要成仙”

Pingyin(simplified): hú lí yào chéng xiān

Translation: Fox becoming fairy

“Fox have to ask you(people) a question: does she looks like a human? If the answer is that she looks like a human, then she gets to become a fairy. Thus, fox would look for human clothes to wear, and study human gesture. If someone tells fox, ‘why do you look so like human’ Then she can become a fairy. These fox fairies often lures man”

analysis: In feudal China, the oppression of women’s personalities and psychology became the perfect environment for the growth of fox fairy legends. Foxes represented the worst image of women at the time. Women were expected to maintain their chastity after marriage, and the social norms and prejudices of the time contributed to the creation of the fox fairy legend. The fox symbolizes lust and a woman’s desire for beauty, which directly contradicts the expectations of homemaking in feudal China. The term “狐狸精” or, in pinyin, “hú lí jīng,” means vixen or fox spirit, and was used to describe women who did not protect their reputation. By linking the fox’s transformation into a fairy with its ability to deceive and allure men, the story provides a narrative framework that helps contextualize and justify these cultural associations.

On the other hand, the legend also reflects the human fascination with the idea of shape-shifting and transformation. The fox’s desire to become a fairy mirrors humanity’s quest for self-improvement and transcendence. The story speaks to the idea that individuals can change and evolve, breaking free from their limitations, even if they are fox.

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