Four Beauties of ancient China 四大美人:西施




杨贵妃王昭君貂蝉西施
Yáng guìfēi, wáng zhāojūn, diāochán, xīshī.


A tongue twister relating to 西施 XiShi: 
西施死時四十四,
四十四時西施死。


XīShī sǐ shí sì shí sì, 
sì shí sì shí XīShī sǐ.


It means Xishi died at (the age of) forty-four, at (age) forty-four Xishi died.
Xi Shi (西施, Pinyin: Xī Shī, c. 506 BC ) was one of the renowned Four Beauties of ancient China. She was said to have lived during the end of Spring and Autumn Period in Zhuji, the capital of the ancient State of Yue.





西施 Xi Shi's beauty was said to be so extreme that while leaning over a balcony to look at the fish in the pond, the fish would be so dazzled that they forgot to swim and gradually sunk away from the surface, birds would forget to fly and fall from the sky, the moon would fade, and flowers would close their petals in shame in comparison to her. This description serves as an idiom
沉鱼落雁,闭月羞花
(pinyin; chényú luòyàn, bìyuè xiūhuā)
which is used to compliment someone's beauty.


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