夸夫逐日
Kuafu Chased the Sun

|Sayings | Story | Classics

It is said that in antiquity a god named KuaFu determined
to have a race with the Sun and catch up with Him. So he
rushed in the direction of the Sun. Finally, he almost ran
neck and neck with the Sun, when he was too thirsty and hot
to continue. Where could he find some water? Just then the
Yellow River and Wei River came into sight, roaring on.
He swooped upon them earnestly and drank the whole river.
But he still felt thirsty and hot, thereupon, he marched
northward for the lakes in the north of China.
Unfortunately, he fell down and died halfway because of thirst.
With his fall, down dropped his cane. Then the cane became
a stretch of peach, green and lush.

And so comes the idiom, KuaFu chased the Sun, which becomes
the trope of man's determination and volition against nature.

Original Chinese text: 山海经

Have you heard a similar story in the Western literature?
How about Icarus in the Greek mythology?

Chinese mythology story

Chinese version | |Sayings | Story | Classics