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The Two Gods of Love in Chinese Legendary Tales

Updated: Feb 25, 2022

On Valentine’s Day, Cupid, the god of love in Roman mythology likely comes to mind. Do you know that in Chinese traditions, there are also two gods who bless harmonious marriage?

Immortal twins of Harmony and Union, He Her Erxian, Late 19th Century, HKMM2016.0018.0001

They are named as Hehe Erxian, which represent harmony and joy. The Chinese character of “Hehe” (和合) refer to marriage, harmonious mind, reconciliation and smooth going. There are numerous legends about their origin. One of them was that they were two Tang dynasty monks, Han Shan and Shi De, and they were officially canonized as the God of Harmony and the God of Good Union in the Yongzheng Period of Qing Dynasty. As they maintained a harmonious relationship according to the legend, they were portrayed as gods who bless love between husband and wife.

One carries a stock of coins in hand
One holds a toad with three legs

There is something special about these sculptures featured in the Hong Kong Maritime Museum collection. One carries a stock of coins in hand and the other one holds a toad with three legs, which differentiate with the general image of one holding a lotus and the other a treasure box.

Read more sensational stories of gods and goddesses from Chinese legendary tales by clicking here.

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