Asian Folklore to get you Excited for Halloween! 👻🎃
When it comes to spooky Halloween stories the most well-known stories are the ones of zombies, vampires, werewolves, mummies, Frankenstein, and many more! Even though Halloween is a holiday primarily celebrated in the U.S., that doesn’t mean other countries don’t have their own spooky stories to tell! In the spirit of Halloween, here are some Euphoric Sun products that are based on some spooky, eerie, and supernatural stories in Chinese folklore!
1. Jiangshi (Hopping Vampire) Palette
The cover art for this palette was inspired by the folklore of a Jiangshi. In Chinese folklore, Jiangshi are essentially a monster that is a combination of a vampire and a zombie! “Jiang Shi,” in the literal sense, translates to “stiff corpse.” A cursed soul with greenish-rotting skin that was stiffened by rigor mortis and unable to move beyond a hop. Jiangshi are reanimated corpses that feed off humans by draining their life energy. Jiangshi are commonly depicted in the uniform of a Qing Dynasty bureaucrat and can be stopped by placing a talisman warding off evil on their forehead!
Jiangshi are said to also be repelled by mirrors, the call of the rooster, the hooves of a black donkey, and the wood of a peach tree. The reasons a Jiangshi might come to be is because of an improper burial, magical rituals, suicide, or possession. The actual history behind the Jiangshi came about during the Qing Dynasty. Grieving families who lacked the funds for transportation would pay a “corpse driver” to take away a deceased family member using necromancy. The corpse driver would magically bind the limbs of the corpse, force it upright, and then it would “hop” home on their own.
This palette has the colors of Halloween written all over it with green, red, and purple colors as well as orange and black. The names are inspired by American creatures as well as Asian folklore. This is a perfect palette for Halloween.
2. Soft Darkness Lip Tints
The names behind these lip tints all stem from various Chinese symbols/legends that all have fantastical details behind them!
The Guardian Lions, or “shi shi” (石獅) in Chinese, actually originated in Persia! Lions were presented as gifts to the court of the Han Dynasty by Persian diplomats and became symbols for the rich and powerful. After the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the guardian lions settled into their current representations: two lions, one male, one female guarding the entryway to the premises they protect. The male guardian lion usually has one paw placed on a ball which represents good fortune and guardianship over the building/place he is protecting. The female guardian lion is often accompanied by a lion cub protected by her paw which symbolizes her guardianship over the people within the building.
The symbolism of the Guardian Lions in Chinese culture may not have a spooky history to them, but they do have an air of mystery as well as supernatural qualities that coincide with the overall spirit of Halloween. The Guardian Lion lip tint is a soft matte grey color that represents the statues themselves.
The Dragon King is the lord of the waters and the god of dragons. Commonly worshipped in coastal communities, the god of dragons, although fearsome, is also a representative of benevolence and fortune. “Long Wang,” as the Dragon King is also known by, is believed to represent chi energy, can cure droughts, and is responsible for the weather. He can also shape-shift into human form or dragon form! In Chinese mythology, the Dragon King received his order directly from the Jade Emperor. Many myths depict Long Wang as aggressive and quick to anger which makes sense as he was also considered the personification of “yang,” as opposed to “yin” which is associated with winter, rest, sleep, and femininity.
The most famous legend of the Dragon King is the story of how Long Wang achieved godhood. Long Wang’s daughter, Sagara helped a beggar who was Buddha in disguise. Seeing Sagara’s compassion, Buddha took her on as his student and taught her the dharma. The Dragon King lived an opulent lifestyle eating gems and commanding a large aquatic army, so naturally, he was annoyed by Buddha’s teachings. Sagara, being the wonderful daughter that she is, wanted to teach her father the ways of the Buddha so that he could become a god. Initially, Sagara tried so hard to teach Long Wang, but he refused to listen. Seeing how much his student wanted her father to learn his ways, the Buddha himself visited the Dragon King’s palace. Impressed by the Buddha, Long Wang eventually learned the dharma and applied it to his own kingdom and eventually achieved godhood.
There are so many more stories related to the Dragon King since the belief of dragon gods have gone back over 7,000 years ago! Dragons themselves are such mystical creatures told in every country. The lip tint color Dragon King is a soft matte black color that has become a favorite here on Euphoric Sun’s shop.
The gloss is inspired by Sun Wukong, aka The Monkey King, who is known as a trickster who caused a lot of problems, but eventually achieved enlightenment by selfless service. Sun Wukong was gifted with incredible strength, incredible running speed, he could freeze people and animals in place and could even control the weather. He could also shape-shift into many animals and objects, was a master of multiple fighting styles, and could make duplicates of himself to aid in battle!
In Chinese mythology, The Monkey King first appeared in the novel “Journey to the West” which was a classic book from the Song Dynasty. The Monkey King believed he was equal to the gods in heaven, so he led a revolt against heaven as well as stole and ate the Peaches of Immortality. He was abolished from heaven for 500 years and later served as a Buddhist monk’s bodyguard. This is where the book starts, but before serving this monk, Sun Wukong had done things like receive wonderful weapons and gifts from the Dragon Kings which led to them feeling extorted by Sun Wukong which led to them wanting vengeance; trick the King of Hell into wiping his and the names of every monkey he knew from the Book of Life and Death; serve the Jade Emperor, but wanted to be on the same level as him.
The Monkey King is on par with Western Halloween characters like jesters, devils, and other different trickster types. There is a reason “Trick or Treat” is popular thing to say during Halloween. The lip gloss color is a shiny black that can be applied on top of different lip tint colors to give a different sheen.
3. Talisman Keychain
SPOILERS! This section contains spoilers for “The Untamed” and “Mo Dao Zu Shi”. Don’t read this section if you don’t want to get spoiled.
The characters written on the talisman keychain are the ghost general's name, Wen Qionglin aka Wen Ning from “The Untamed” who is a scary but cute and beloved character of the series!
Wen Ning is a member of the Qishan Wen Clan while alive, and in death he becomes a Fierce Corpse known as the “Ghost General.” He is Wei Wuxian’s right hand man. The reason he is such a beloved character in the series is his personality! Wen Ning has a strong sense of honor, kindness, and loyalty. He is cute and derpy. His loving and loyal relationship with his older sister Wen Qing is also another reason he’s a favorite among The Untamed fans.
He is literally called “The Ghost General!” He embodies the spooky Halloween spirit wholeheartedly. The Talisman is handwritten and may be too spoopy for some people since actual talismans are used by taoist priests to perform rituals. But, we promise this one is just an accessory! This is why we chose to put Wen Qionglin on the talisman instead of “Ghost General”.
4. Ghost Bunny Socks
While this blog post has been mostly about spooky Chinese folklore, ultimately Halloween is about all the fun you can have during the holiday! Dressing up, going door-to-door (safely of course!), and eating candy are the best parts of Halloween!
There isn't any folklore or legends behind Ghost Bunnies (that we know of), so these socks purely represent the easy-going fun of Halloween! It’s also starting to get pretty chilly, and who doesn’t love cute, themed socks?
Halloween is honestly such a fun holiday and sharing scary and spooky stories is a fun aspect of it! We hope you enjoyed learning about these different spooky stories in Chinese folklore! Have a Happy Halloween!