Yue Lao, the Old Man Under the Moon, is a god of marriage and love in Chinese mythology. He is said to appear at night in order to unite all predestined couples. As an immortal being, he is said to reside either on the Moon or in Hades.

The Matchmaker God is always portrayed as a kind elderly man with white hair, a long beard and a sceptre.

It is the legend of Yue Lao that serves as the basis for the Red Thread of Fate that is believed to tie two people and their destines together. It is commonly thought of as an invisible red cord around the finger of those that are destined to meet one another in a certain situation.

In the original Chinese myth, it is tied around both parties’ ankles, while in Japanese culture it is bound from a male’s thumb to a female’s little finger.

According to legend, Yue Lao appears under the moonlight, holding the Book of Marriage and varying lengths of red thread. As he reads and recites from the Book of Marriage, Yue Lao unites all destined couples together with the thread.

The red thread of fate is symbolic of a Chinese idiom that loosely translates to: a fated match across a thousand miles is drawn together by a red thread. It expresses the notion that that those destined to be together will find each other even if they are thousands of miles apart.

No matter how far apart the two people are or how significant the difference is between their economic situation and social status–or even if they disliked each other in the beginning–legend holds that the predestined couple would be happily wed in the end.

Shesmax, CC BY-SA 4.0

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