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Saturday, 4 August 2012

Golden Girl Project - Diao Chan



Diao Chan is a famous woman from ancient China. Considered one of the most beautiful women in ancient Chinese history. She's one of the historical and legendary Four Beauties of China. The other Four Great Beauties of ancient China are:
Xishi
Yang Guifei
Wang Zhaojun.
(I shall mention these other three 4 beauties of China in my future "Golden Girl Project" posts.)

Her name was Diao Chan, or Diaochan. She was possibly born in the year 161 CE (or Third Century, Late Eastern Han Dynesty). She lived in the Muzhi Village of the Shaanxi Province. This village is 3 km south-east of Xinzhou City.

Now first of all, this village has peach trees and apricot trees that don't blossom very much. This problem has been occuring since the birth of Diaochan. Few flowers grow as much as they used to. Yet once upon a time this region was pretty much fertile with natural garlands and hanging flowers decourating walls, arches and pillars. The trees there always used to give forth tons of fruit in ancient times. There is said to have been a link to Diao Chan with the sterility of plants.

The beauty of Diaochan was so incredible that she "eclipsed the moon" and "shamed the flowers".  The moon and flowers seem to be overwhelmed by this woman's luminous beauty. Her presence seemed to have this impact on the earth even after her death. Her grave site (named Diao Chan Cemetery) was also of recent interest too:

"the burial mound of Diaochan has been razed in catastrophes. Some ancient bricks, stone structural components, copper coins are often excavated from the site. It is said that they have relations with Diaochan." source 


Taken from Cultural China - "Legend has it that when Diao Chan paid offerings to the moon at midnight, Chang'e (the Chinese Moon Goddess) hurried to hide in clouds, for this beautiful lady made her feel inferior. The phrase “outshines the moon“ in the beauty-describing idiom “Beauty which outshines the moon and shames the flowers“ has Diao Chan as the very subject. This legend embodies in an exaggerated way Diao Chan’s beautiful appearance in the eyes of the Chinese people."

Out of the Four Great Beauties of China, Diaochan has few records about her life. She's become an almost legendary goddesslike woman who featured in a lot of action dramas and epics about ancient China. It's as if this woman had such remarkable power. Everyone respects her and loves her even to this day as she played a major role in Chinese history as well as inspired many over the centuries. A woman who was like a goddess, who effects the Earth near her presence, and continues to show her love, strength and beauty to generations. The woman Diao Chan has reached the West, as she comes as a quartet of four other beautiful historical women.      

Links:

The Four Beauties of China
More on Diao Chan
Cultural China 

Books:
Meng Fan Ren -"Diaochan's Biography"
Luo Guanzhong - "Romance of the Three Kingdoms"

The picture is of "Daio Chan" as she is portrayed in "Dynasty Warriors".

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