Penglai(蓬莱/蓬萊)’s Story

In Chinese #mythology, Penglai(蓬莱/蓬萊) is depicted as a suspended pavilion above the sea,supported by a cluster of auspicious clouds. It’s the palace of the immortals,all made of gold and jade,and the birds and beasts are all white.

It is stated in《列子》that there are five fairy mountains in the sea: First is Mount Taiyu, second is Mount Yuanjiao, third is Mount Fanghu, fourth is Mount Yingzhou, fifth is Mount Penglai.’ Penglai is just one among them.

Its mountain height circumnavigates thirty thousand miles, its top is nine thousand miles in breadth, and the distances between the peaks are seventy thousand miles. This is an altitude that ordinary people find hard to cross; those who come and go within are immortals, flying in the sky innumerable. However, the foundation of Penglai is unstable; it constantly rises and falls with the tides and cannot stay fixed. Therefore, the Heavenly Emperor commanded the sea god to lift the fairy mountain using a giant Ao(鰲).

Even on Ao’s back, carrying the mountain, it was not very stable. Later, a giant from the land of Dragon Polity fished away Ao, causing Mount Taiyu and Mount Yuanjiao among the five fairy mountains to sink into the sea.

Only three fairy mountains remained, also floating unsteadily.

🎨 鰲 蕭雲從《天問圖》

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