Pearl Legend and The Chinese Great Beauty Xi Shi

The legend goes that "Once, Mother Bathed in the Stream with Silk, and the Bright Pearl Shone Through Her Body, Giving Birth," describing the belief that "Pearls are the incarnation of Xi Shi." --the foremost of the Four Great Beauties in the Chinese history.

Xi Shi Chinese Great Beauty 

Pearls have been utilized by humans for thousands of years, and there is a legend that they are the incarnation of Xi Shi, who was from Zhuji City, Zhejiang Province. (Jewelry website)


Xi Shi was originally the treasured pearl of Chang'e, the goddess of the moon. She was sent down to the mortal world by the Jade Emperor to rescue the people of the Wu and Yue states from years of continuous warfare, and the pearl became her incarnation.

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Chang'e, the celestial maiden, had a dazzling, luminous pearl that she cherished and often held in her hands for amusement. She entrusted a colorful golden rooster to guard it day and night, fearing it might be lost. However, the golden rooster had longed to play with the pearl and, taking advantage of Chang'e's distraction, secretly swallowed it and hid behind the moon to play with it, tossing it up and down for fun. But accidentally, the pearl fell from the moon and descended to the human world. The golden rooster, in panic and to avoid punishment, followed it to the mortal realm. (Jewelry vendor)


Upon learning of this, Chang'e urgently ordered the Jade Rabbit to chase after the golden rooster. The Jade Rabbit crossed through the clouds of the nine heavens and pursued the golden rooster until they reached the skies above Puyang River in Zhuji, Zhejiang.




On that day, by the banks of Puyang River, a woman from the Shi family was washing clothes when she suddenly saw a brilliantly shining pearl in the water. She hurriedly reached out to pick it up, but the pearl, as if it had wings, flew directly into her mouth and disappeared into her belly. From that moment, the woman felt as if she were pregnant.


Sixteen months passed, and the woman experienced excruciating abdominal pain but could not give birth. Her husband knelt and prayed to the heavens in desperation. Suddenly, one day, a colorful golden rooster descended from the sky and perched on the roof. Instantly, the house was filled with a radiant light. Just then, a cry was heard, and the woman gave birth to a beautiful and radiant girl, whom they named Xi Shi. Hence, the saying "Once, Mother Bathed in the Stream with Silk, and the Bright Pearl Shone Through Her Body, Giving Birth."


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As Xi Shi grew up and reconciled the enmity between the Wu and Yue states, she transformed into a pearl and remained in the mortal world, continuing to contribute to the health, longevity, and beauty of the people. Since then, Zhuji has become renowned worldwide as a land of pearl cultivation with hight jewelry quality, and this legend has a history of more than 2,500 years.


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