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The Red String of Fate

The Red Thread of Fate, refers to an ancient Asian myth of love. The Red Thread of Fate also referred to as the Red Thread of Marriage, and other variants, is an East Asian belief originating from a Chinese legend.

In Chinese mythology, the gods tie an invisible red string around the ankles of those that are destined to meet one another in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way. According to Chinese legend, the deity in charge of ‘the red thread’ is believed to be Yuè Xià Lǎorén (often abbreviated to Yuè Lǎo) the old lunar god of matchmaking whose power is over marriage. The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. This thread may stretch or tangle, but it won’t ever break.

In Japanese legend, red strings are tied to the pinky finger of one person and the pointer finger of another. This legend is similar to the Western concept of a soulmate or ‘twin flame’.


A boy was walking home one night and startled when he saw an old man leaning up against a fence beneath the moonlight. The old man was standing next to a giant bag and flipping through a book.

‘What are you reading?’ said the boy.

‘This is the book of marriages,’ said the old man, ‘I need only use one of the red strings in this bag to tie two people together and they will become destined to be married.’

The boy didn’t believe it so the old man took him into the village and pointed out the young girl that was destined to be his wife.

The boy became angry as he was really young and did not plan on ever getting married. He picked up a rock and threw it at the girl and then ran away.

Many years later the boy’s parents arranged a marriage for him and on the night of the wedding, he nervously lifted the veil covering his new wife’s face.

He was happy to see that she was one of the most beautiful women in the village. But he also noticed that she wore an unusual decoration on her eyebrow and asked her about it out of curiosity.

Flustered, she removed the decoration to reveal a scar. She explained that when she was very young someone threw a rock at her and it had scarred her face right above the eye.