Chinese Mythological Story of Kuafu Chasing the Sun

The Story of Kuafu Chasing the Sun

“Kuafu Chasing the Sun” is a Chinese myth that illustrates the indomitable spirit and the desire to control nature of ancient Chinese people.

Moreover, the story also serves as a reminder that we must know our limitations when pursuing goals beyond our achievable abilities.

Long ago, there was a giant from the Kuafu (Chinese: 夸父) family who saw the sun rise every day in the east and set in the west, and then rise again in the east the next morning. He was very surprised and wondered where the sun went at night. Kuafu loved brightness and could not stand the darkness, so he thought: “I must chase and catch the sun in mid-air to keep the world always bright, and there will be no distinction between day and night.”

The Story about Kuafu
The Story about Kuafu

Kuafu took long strides and flew like a bird towards the vast fields, chasing the sun heading west. In the blink of an eye, the giant had traveled thousands of miles.

Kuafu chased the sun to the region of Yugu where the sun set. Before the sun could fully set, Kuafu had already reached there with his long legs. A huge red fireball appeared before him. Kuafu’s whole body was immersed in the extremely dazzling light of the sun. Kuafu was overjoyed, raising his two big arms to catch the blazing fireball.

Kuafu Chasing the Sun
Kuafu Chasing the Sun

However, suddenly Kuafu felt his throat dry up, thirsting to the extreme and unable to endure it. He was being cooked by the sun and was exhausted after running for more than half a day.

Kuafu temporarily stopped chasing the sun, huddled down to drink all the water from the Yellow River and the Wei River. Kuafu drank desperately, but just a moment later, both of those big rivers had dried up, yet his thirst remained unquenched. Kuafu then ran northward to where there was a plentiful water source that extended for thousands of miles. Unfortunately, before reaching his destination, he died of thirst along the way.

The Story of Kuafu Chasing the Sun
The Story of Kuafu Chasing the Sun

Kuafu fell down like a collapsing mountain. The ground trembled violently. At that moment, the sun had begun to set into the deep abyss, and the last few golden rays shone on Kuafu’s face. Angry, Kuafu stared at the sun slowly sinking to the west and let out a long sigh, throwing his stick forward with force, closing his eyes, and fading away.

Kuafu in Chinese Mythology
Kuafu in Chinese Mythology

The next morning, the sun rose again in the east, spreading light everywhere on the earth. Meanwhile, the body of Kuafu lay on the vast field, turning into a range of high mountains overnight. In the north of the mountain range was a forest of peach trees, with lush green leaves and sweet fruits hanging from the branches. That was what Kuafu’s stick had transformed into. The delicious and sweet fruits of the peach forest later helped those who were thirsty for light during their journey, making their spirits more joyful and eager to reach their destination, determined not to give up halfway.

The Story of Kuafu Chasing the Sun
– Chinese Mythology –

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