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梁祝傳説   Legend of The Butterfly Lovers

所屬名錄: 第一批國家級名錄

編號: I-7

申報地區或單位: 浙江省寧波市, 杭州市上虞市; 江蘇省宜興市; 山東省濟寧市; 河南省汝南縣

Inscribed list: National List, First Batch

Inventory no.: I-7

Nominating unit(s): Zhejiang Province, Ningbo City, Hangzhou City; Jiangsu Province, Yixing City; Shandong Province, Jining City; Henan Province, Ru’nan County






The legend of the Butterfly Lovers is a bittersweet romance story of a pair of lovers – Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai—and is a well-known tale among the Chinese population and even the rest of the world, having been adapted into different forms of literature, theater, and art work.


The most common version of the story is set in the Eastern Jin Dynasty. Zhu YingTai was the only daughter of her family, and despite the exclusion of females in the education systems, she was able to convince her parents in letting her go to school.  She disguised herself as a boy in order to pursue academic studies, and at the academy was where she met a fellow student, Liang Shanbo. Attracted to each other, their relationship was later interrupted when Zhu Yingtai’s strict father arranged a betrothal for her, with the wealthy merchant, Ma Wencai. Heartbroken and grieving, Liang died and was buried near the home of Zhu’s fiancé, where she would pass by during the wedding ceremony. On the day of Zhu’s marriage, while she was heading to the home of the groom for the ceremony, a storm broke out and forced Zhu to stop by the grave of her late lover.


As she was mourning her lover in her elegant wedding dress, the grave suddenly opened upon her arrival. Without hesitation, Zhu dived into the crack in the ground before it closed again. To everyone’s surprise, the spirits of Liang and Zhu re-appeared as a pair of inseparable butterflies, flying away.  


This well-known legend had its earliest written record dated to the Tang Dynasty, in which a snippet sentence from Shidao Sifan Zhi mentions that “the righteous Zhu YingTai and Liang Shanbo were both buried together in this grave”. Although the reason for them both sharing the same grave is unclear, or whether the both of them were real life persons, the story between the pair of lovers was further extended in the late Tang novelette Xuan Shizhi () to resemble the primary version of the story. Both Tang dynasty sources became the basis for further developments in future dynasties. During the Yuan to Qing period, the folklore was further transformed into different art forms, which included fantasy novels, Yuan Zaju, and folk opera, with more details and origins further explored.


This folklore has earned the nickname of “the Oriental Romeo and Juliet,” and continues to inspire various films and music productions with its tragic yet lovely story.


視頻 Video:

Video 1:

Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto--a famous musical composition of the love story.

Video 2:

(Cartoon telling of the story)

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