In Chinese mythology it is said that there exists ten Suns which take turns appearing in the sky and they are carried across the heavens by a chariot which is drawn by dragons and driven by their mother.
In the morning the Sun, whose duty is to bring light to the world for that day, leaves the valley of Light and is bathed by its mother in the lake near the valley on the eastern side of the world. Near the lake there is located a big tree called fu-Sung or Po or Khung-sang which all ten of the newly bathed Suns climb. The ninth Sun sits in the lower branches while the tenth ascends to the top, where it proceeds on its chariot ride across the sky. It travels west until it comes upon Mount Yen-tzu, once there the dragons can be unyoked. Here there is a tree called Jo and also a lake. This east-west journey are the daylight hours.
The way that the duty Sun returns to the east is not known but it is possible that the Sun descends to the Earth by the tree. The tree's flowers are red and glow at night and are probably the stars.
Occasionally more than one Sun would "appear" in the sky and that is considered an ill-omen which predicts the fall of a dynasty. The victory of Yin-Shang over Hsia was preceded by three Suns in the sky while the victory of Chou over Yin-Shang was preceded by the appearance of two Suns.
The most important occasion when many Suns were seen was when Yao was going to lose the throne to Shun. All ten Suns appeared and their great heat threatened all the Earth. So the emperor Shun gave a magic bow to Yi the good archer. Yi shot nine of the Suns out of the sky, and left one Sun for the future.
The Sun is Yang and it is made of fire; while the moon is Yin. Within the Sun's breast there is a three-footed raven and when Yi saved the world the raven fell to the Earth.
©Copyright 1998 Elizabeth
Beckett, Holly Bernitt, and Vishwa Chandra.