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Author: Lihui Yang
Every year, at the Wa Huang Gong temple in Hebei Province, China, people gather to worship the great mother, Nuwa, the oldest deity in Chinese myth, praising her for bringing them a happy life. It is a vivid demonstration of both the ancient reach and the continuing relevance of mythology in the lives of the Chinese people. Compiled from ancient and scattered texts and based on groundbreaking new research, Handbook of Chinese Mythology is the most comprehensive English-language work on the subject ever written from an exclusively Chinese perspective. This work focuses on the Han Chinese people but ranges across the full spectrum of ancient and modern China, showing how key myths endured and evolved over time. A quick reference section covers all major deities, spirits, and demigods, as well as important places (Kunlun Mountain), mythical animals and plants (the crow with three feet; Fusang tree), and related items (Xirang-a kind of mythical soil; Bu Si Yao-mythical medicine for long life). No other work captures so well what Chinese mythology means to the people who lived and continue to live their lives by it. With more than 40 illustrations and photographs, fresh translations of primary sources, and insight based on the authors' own field research, Handbook of Chinese Mythology offers an illuminating account of a fascinating corner of the world of myth.