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Lung Mo Temple on Peng Chau, an island o Hong Kong.

In Cheenese meethologie, Long Mu (simplifeed Cheenese: 龙母; traditeeonal Cheenese: 龍母; pinyin: lóng mǔ; Wade–Giles: lung mo) or Mither o Driagons wis a Cheenese wumman who wis deifeed as a goddess efter raisin five infant draigons. Long Mu an her draigons developit a strang bond for ilk ither, an hae thus acome an example o filial devotion an parental luve, an important virtue in Cheenese cultur.

The legend[eedit | eedit soorce]

The historic name o Long Mu wis Wen Shi[1] (溫氏). She wis born in 290 BC (durin the Qin Dynasty) in Guangdong province, near the Xi River (西江). Her faimily's ancestral hame wis in Teng Coonty (藤縣) in Guangxi province. She wis the seicont o three dochters o Wen Tianrui (溫天瑞) an Liang Shi (梁氏).[1]

Wen Shi frequently went tae the Xi River tae fish an wash claes for her faimily. On ane sic errand, she foond a lairge smooth white stane alang the banks o the river. She teuk the bonnie stane hame, but later discovered that the stane wis actually an egg, frae which hatched five baby snakes (an alternate version says ane). Wen Shi's faimily wis poor, but Wen Shi savit the best fuid she haed for her baby snakes an fed them bi haund. As the snakes grew, thay helpit Wen Shi catch fish at the Xi River. The snakes wur naitural swimmers an became vera guid at catchin fish.

The snakes eventually matured intae five pouerful draigons. In Cheenese cultur, draigons are considered spirits o watter, an hae the pouer tae control the wather; durin a drocht, tharefore, Wen Shi asked her draigon childer tae summon the rain for her veelage. When rain came an endit the drocht, the grateful veelagers gae Wen Shi the name "Mither o Draigons" (龍母) or "Divine Human" (神人).

Qin Shihuang, the Emperor o the Qin Dynasty, receivit wird o Wen Shi an her draigons. The Emperor sent her gifts o gowd an jade an requestit her presence at Xianyang, the imperial caipital ceety near the Yellae River, far tae the north. Bi this time, Wen Shi wis an elderly weemen in frail halth. Her adult draigons feared for her safety an did no want her tae traivel sae far frae her veelage. Wen Shi buirdit a boat tae comply wi the Emperor's commandment, but her draigons hid unner the boat an draggit the boat backwaird sae that the boat coud niver pass Guilin. Eventually, the frustratit imperial offeecials relentit an alloued Wen Shi tae remain home.

Efter Wen Shi dee'd, the draigons wur owerwhelmit bi sadness an teuk human form, becomin kent as the Five Scholars (五秀才), who buriet her on the northren side o Zhu Muntain (珠山).

Legacy[eedit | eedit soorce]

Iveryane who heard the story o Long Mu wis touched bi the filial devotion o the draigons. Durin the early Han Dynasty, the Xiaotong Temple (孝通廟), later kent as the Longmu Ancestral Temple (龍母祖廟), wis biggit in her honour. The temple is in Yuecheng in Deqing Coonty (德慶縣悅城鎮) o Guangdong province. It featurs calligraphy dedicatit tae the goddess written bi the Emperor Hong Wu o the Ming Dynasty. The temple remains vera popular an haes been renovatit 13 times ower the centuries, maist recently in 1905-1912 an 1985.

Anither temple dedicatit tae Long Mu is the Baisha Temple in Zhaoqing, sooth o the Xi River in the Ruizhou Detrict, in Guangdong an aw. The temple wis biggit in 1587, but it is no as well preservit as the Xiaotong Temple. The ceety declared the temple a cultural steid in 1982.

Long Mu's festival is in the first week o the fift month o the Cheenese Lunar Calendar. She is a patron goddess o parents an childer, an remains a popular deity throuoot Cheenae.

Notes[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. a b In auncient Cheenae, mony females wur no given a formal name, an wur referred tae ootside o their faimily as "[Surname] Shi", meanin "o the [Surname] faimily".