It is said that on the third day of the Chinese New Year, if you carefully look around the corners of the streets, you will see a flock of mice singing and dancing merrily as they get ready for a wedding. Why would there be mice running around getting married? Let me tell you the story about the little mouse bride 老鼠娶亲 (lǎo shǔ qǔ qīn).
Legend has it that once upon a time, there was a mice couple that had a beautiful daughter. They loved her so much that they wanted her to marry the greatest creature in the whole world. So they went up to the sun because it lights up the world with its strong, shining beams and asked, “Dearest Mr. Sun, we would like you to marry our daughter, for you are the greatest creature in the world?” Unwillingly to marry the little mouse daughter, the sun said, “but that’s not true, a small piece of cloud would cover me entirely.”
So the mice couple went up to the cloud, “Dearest Mr. Cloud, we would like you to marry our daughter, for you are the greatest creature in the world?” Unwillingly to marry the little mouse daughter the cloud said, “but it’s not true, a tiny trace of wind will blow me apart with no mercy.”
Then the mice couple went up to the wind, but he was unwilling to take the mouse daughter too. The wind said, “I’m not the greatest creature in the world for the wall blocks me from traveling afar.”
What did the wall say when the mouse couple asked him to marry their lovely mouse daughter? “I’m not the greatest creature in the world, for a little mice will corrupt me with a hole in the corner.” “Ah,” thought the mice couple to themselves, “We are the the greatest creatures in the world!” So they married their daughter happily to another little mouse.
Although this folktale has various versions, it has been a parental favorite to tell their children. Traditionally, people turn off the lights early on this day in order not to disturb the wedding and sprinkle wheat and cheese as wedding presents! In return, they hope the mice will appreciate the gifts and not stir up any mouse-related disasters in the coming year!
Let us know if you spot any mice weddings today!