The legend of the red string of fate is similar to the western concept of soulmates. One version of the story tells of a young boy who is walking home late one night. The boy comes upon an old man standing in the moonlight. This man’s name is Yue Xia Lao. The man tells the boy that he is attached to his future wife by an invisible red thread. Yue Xia Lao shows the boy the young girl who is destined to be his wife. Being young and having no interest in getting married or having a wife, the boy picks up a stone and throws it at the girl, then runs away.
Many years later, when the boy grew into a young man, his parents set up an arranged marriage for him. His wife waits for him in their bedroom on the night of their wedding, wearing the traditional veil covering her face. The man raises her veil and is happy to see that she is one of the most beautiful women in his village. However, she wore an adornment covering her eyebrow. When he asked why she wore it, she responds that when she was a young girl, a boy threw a rock and struck her in the face, leaving the scar on her eyebrow. The woman was the same young girl that was shown to him by Yue Xia Lao when he was younger. Showing that they were connected by the red string of fate like he was told.
In the Chinese legend, the gods tie the invisible red thread around the ankle of those who are destined to meet. But, often in the Japanese culture, the thread would be tied around the little finger.
This is also where “Pinky Swear” came from. This means that the person who broke the promise would have to cut off their pinky finger, thus severing the attachment of the red string. Of course, you wouldn’t want to break that promise, because then you would be separated from your true love forever!
The two people who are connected by the string are fated lovers, regardless of time, place, and circumstances. It is said that the thread may stretch far, or get very tangled, but will never break.
I really love the idea of being connected to the one you are destined to be with. It gives a sense of hope. Like no matter what the current situation of your love life is, you will eventually find your other half.
Thanks so much for reading! ~Angie Maru