The Hatless Gathering
- ScreenwriterSo Yung
In the Spring and Autumn Period of Chinese history, General Tang Jiao of the state of Chu goes to war with the King of Chu and returns triumphant. Both he and the King's brother-in-law, Xiang Xiang,love Yuji. They visit her at the same time and have a quarrel. Knowing that Xiang is wicked, Yuji urges Tang Jiao to marry her as soon as possible. Her brother, Yucheng,returns from the court and reprimands his sister for offending Xiang. When the King pays her a personal visit and chooses her as his concubine, she has no choice but to refuse Tang's offer.
The King invites his ministers to a banquet on Jian Terrace, where Tang Jiao tries to drown his sorrows in liquor. Suddenly a gust of wind blows out the candles. Enraged by Yuji’s betrayal, Tang takes out his dagger to stab her but accidentally touches the concubine sitting beside him. In the dark, the concubine takes off Tang’s hat and reports the misdeed to the King. Thinking that the transgressor is drunk and has no malicious intentions, the King orders all those wearing hats with red tassels to take them off before the candles are lit again. Thus the banquet comes to be called “the Hatless Gathering”.
When the state of Jin invades Chu, the King personally leads his troops against the enemy. The general of Jin is such a brave and skillful warrior that he lays a tight siege to the troops of Chu. Tang Jiao leads a group of soldiers to their rescue, despite his sorrow over the encounter with Yuji.
*English translation source: Chinese Opera Information Centre, CUHK