World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Hongjun Laozu

Article Id: WHEBN0009801646
Reproduction Date:

Title: Hongjun Laozu  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Taoism, Triple deities, Neidan, Outline of Taoism, Tao
Collection: Chinese Gods, Chinese Mythology, Creation Myths, Taoism, Triple Deities
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Hongjun Laozu

Hongjun Laozu (simplified Chinese: 鸿钧老祖; traditional Chinese: 鴻鈞老祖; pinyin: Hóngjūn Lǎozǔ; Wade–Giles: Hung-chün Lao-tsu) lit. "Ancestor of the Great Balance" is a deity in Chinese folk religion and Taoism, patriarch of the Three Pure Ones in Taoist mythology. Hongjun 鴻鈞 is a graphic variant of hungjun (simplified Chinese: 洪钧; traditional Chinese: 洪鈞; pinyin: hóngjūn; Wade–Giles: hung-chün) "primordial nature", as used in the Chinese idiom Xian you hongjun hou you tian 先有鸿钧后有天 "First there was Nature and then there was Heaven".

Daoists mythologize Hongjun Laozu as the ancestor of xian "trancendents; immortals" (Werner 1922:133-134) and use the honorific name Hongyuan Laozu (simplified Chinese: 鸿元老祖; traditional Chinese: 鴻元老祖; pinyin: Hóngyuán Lǎozǔ; Wade–Giles: Hung-yuan Lao-tsu) "Great Primal Ancestor". In Chinese creation myths, hongyuan 鸿元 or 洪元 is a cosmological term for "the universe before the separation of heaven and earth".

Some myths about the creator Pangu (Werner 1922:128-130) refer to Hongjun Laozu as Xuanxuan Shangren (Chinese: 玄玄上人; pinyin: Xuánxuán Shàngrén; Wade–Giles: Hsüan-hsüan Shang-jen) "Mystery of Mysteries Saint" (a reference to the Daodejing 1, tr. Mair 1990:59, "Mystery or mysteries, the gate of all wonders!").


Hongjun Laozu was the monk who is told about in the myth of Chinese New Year. He was the person who captured Nian, the great beast that terrorised the people of China every Chinese New Year.

Every Chinese New Year was a time of suffering and fear for the people of China because of Nian, the great beast. One Chinese New Year's Eve, the monk, Hongjun Laozu, came to a village in China. He saw how everyone looked sad and frightened, so he went to a young man and said "Why are you so sad? It is Chinese New Year, a time for celebration." The man replied "Do you not know? Have you not heard about Nian? He comes every New Year and terrorises us, even eats us." The monk said "I will go and reason with Nian." So off he went, to find Nian.

When Hongjun Laozu came to Nian, he said "Nian, I have come to reason with you. Stop eating and terrorising the people of China." But Nian Said "Haha. You have delivered yourself to me, old man, so now I will eat you." The man replied, "Oh, but what will that prove? Eating me isn't great! Would you dare to eat the poisonous snakes on the mountains?" "Bah! What's so difficult about that?" So Nian went to the poisonous snakes and ate them up. "How is this? Am I not great?" "At the back of the mountain there are many great beasts. Can you subdue them?" So Nian went and scared all of the dangerous beasts out of the back of the mountain.

"Old man, now its time for me to eat you!" "Sure, but just wait while I take my clothes off, I will taste much better then". So the old man took his clothes off to reveal his undergarments, which were red. "OK, you can eat me now." But Nian said "Ah! a red undergarment! I dearly hate red, get out of my sight quickly." "Haha! I knew you were afraid of red!" The old man went into the town on top of Nian and said "Dear villagers, do not be afraid. Nian is most terrified of red. From now on each house must paste red on each of their doors to prevent Nian creating havoc."

After that, the people started to paste red paper on their front doors before New Year's Day.

See also


  • Mair, Victor H. 1990. Tao Te Ching: The Classic Book of Integrity and the Way, by Lao Tzu; an entirely new translation based on the recently discovered Ma-wang-tui manuscripts. Bantam Books.
  • Werner, E.T.C. 1922. Myths & Legends of China. Graham Brash.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.