In Chinese mythology, Xihe (羲和) is a solar goddess and the mother of the ten Suns that, in ancient times, nearly destroyed the Earth. Xihe’s name is comprised of an ancient surname xī (羲) and hé (和), a character which can mean “gentle or harmonious.” She’s the first wife of the emperor Di Jun (帝俊) who is also married to the moon goddess, Changxi (常羲), who gave birth to twelve Moons.
In the ancient Chinese text, Huainanzi (淮南子), Xihe’s Sun chariot journey was described as the following: “The Sun rises up from the Bright Valley, bathes in the Pool of Xian, and rests in the Fusang Tree. This is called Dawn Light.” Xihe’s children (the ten Suns) would take turns driving her around the world in a carriage, but one day, they decided to all go out at once. The heat of all ten Suns scorched the Earth and nearly destroyed the world. The Suns were eventually killed by the archer, Hou Yi (后羿).
- Ten Suns