According to ancient Chinese mythology, the lychee fruit (Litchi chinensis) is a symbol of romance, beauty and good luck. Legend has it that the Chinese emperor Tang Ming Huang of the Tang Dynasty was in love with Yang Guifei, one of the four beauties of the Chinese history. She was very fond of lychee. The emperor would send runners and horsemen with teams of swift horses over 800 miles to fetch the fruit from the southern regions of China. Southern China grew the best lychee as per records back then. It’s said that riders and horses were changed along the way. With tireless devotion, they would return with bundles of the exquisite fruit, just for the emperor’s lover. Her love for lychee actually made a very efficient Chinese postal or courier service back in those days!

Chinese Emperor Tang Ming Huang
A 17th-century Chinese Woodblock Print Photo Credit: Chinasage