Here's my take on the tale:
The young lady Zhu Ying Tai (祝英臺) went to college but disguised as a man because generally in China females were discouraged from taking up academic pursuits. Luck, fate or otherwise, she met this handsome young man in college and fell in love with him. He didn't know and treated her as a close male buddy.
She did not tell him her identity but they took an oath of brotherhood or fraternity. The symbolic place to meet was the pavilion bridge, where they pledged their companionship for each other.
After all that had happened, he still didn't know she was a lady, even after three years, being the square that he was, they both studied in peace and quiet. When they graduated and had to part, she was smart enough to invite him to her home, on the promise that she would introduce him to her "sister" who could become his girlfriend. Female ingenuity!
When he finally discovered that his three-year uni-mate was a female (of all the luck!), they vowed to marry. He was by then a county magistrate, but when they discovered that she had already been arranged by her parents to be married to a rich merchant, they were heart broken.
Because of this malady, Liang Shan Poh (梁山伯), became ill and as the months went by, he passed away. Worse than Shakespeare's story.
On the wedding day, Zhu's bridal procession had to be halted on the road because of very powerful winds. She took this opportunity to pay respect at Liang's grave. When she reached it, she was so overwhelmed, she begged that the grave opened up so she could join Liang.
Thunder clapped, the sky turned grim and the gaping grave parted wide. She was swallowed whole, consumed in the subdued light after the lightning burst.
Then, surprisingly, out of the agony and in the dim light, two colourful butterflies emerged, free spirits to flit into the dusk.
Comment guys, on the tale?
In my next posting I shall explain the origin of the haunting melody 'The Butterfly Lovers'.
梁祝 - The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto: High Def Video by Chinese080808
Images: Google and YouTube.
I have totally ignored Halloween this year because it'll be another dose of fat pumpkins, white skulls, dark witches and brown coffins. We'll leave them out for next time.
Come Valentine's Day, I'll resurface this tale again.