Litchi, Love & Luck
Have you ever wondered how it would be if litchis could speak? Bunches of red, ripe, succulent berries would probably whisper in hushed tones long, lost tales they are actually forbidden to reveal. In the days of yore, men pursued their lovers using bouquets of flowers and words of love scribbled across yellow parchments. But a lone Chinese emperor decided to take a different path. Well, this is one of the most famous legends amidst the numerous imposing litchi fables about passion, combat, and fascinating plots.
Journey of 800 Miles
The litchi or lizhi saga of romance began way back in the 8th century Chinese empire. The then emperor, Xuanzong, summoned his finest riders to mount the best horses and traverse across 800 miles of rugged terrains to reach the far south. All this was done to bring back the freshest of exquisite berries for the king’s adored concubine, Yang Yuhuan. Litchi fruits were Yang’s favourite. Their story, though, ends on a sad note with the woman succumbing to death while protecting her lover during an uprising.
Muse of Chinese Poetry and Art
With silky-thin red rinds and wine-flavoured, snowy-white pulp, litchis could not stay away from the flowing ink of a poet’s pen. ‘Passing the Huaqing Palace’ is a beautiful description of Yang’s craze for the fruit. The poetic lines say, “A steed galloping up dust wins the imperial concubine’s smiling; but no one knows it is litchi that is coming.” Litchi deeply inspired Chinese allegory and it was also used to artistically adorn paintings and artefacts.
Fruit of Love and Luck
Ancient myths compared red and heart-shaped litchis to fairies as they were believed to usher in luck. A branch of the fruit painted across an artist’s canvas would indicate fortune and money. Dried litchis were often strewn on beds of newlyweds to herald the birth of heirs and sons. A basket of litchis, symbolising love, fondness, and sensuality, when gifted to a lady-love surely meant she would fall for the man’s profound gesture.
The Chinese kept the secret of these marvellous berries carefully under wraps for around 2000 years. But the hush-hush story had to surface one day. Today these incredible berries have travelled to several parts of the world. And they no longer require herculean efforts made by ancient emperors and kings to land on people’s plates. Thankfully, India is the second largest producer of rosy-shaded, delectable litchis and you can have them right now! Yes, buy litchis online today on SaleBhai.
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