Once upon a time, there was a young woman named Mai. She was the daughter of a hunter and possessed great courage and strength. When she turned 14, her father had already trained her into a very talented and brave warrior. At the time, there was a monster that came to a village, terrorizing its inhabitants. The villagers then put a bounty on its head. Hearing of this, the hunter and his daughter came and slayed the monster, making their names known throughout the land.
A few years later, as the hunter grew older and weaker, Mai, who was then 18, grew stronger each day. One day, a snake monster appeared in another area. The people there came and begged for them to come and kill it. Before they went, Mai’s mother gave her a beautiful bright yellow dress and Mai promised to wear that dress when she returned home so her mother would see her coming. The two people went a long way chasing after the snake monster. When they finally caught up to it, the father was too exhausted to fight. Mai protected her father while fighting the monster. In the end, she managed to bring down the snake, but it used the last of its dying breath to strangle her with its tail.
Grief-stricken over her untimely death, the kitchen god begged the Jade Emperor to bring her back to life so she could meet her parents again. The Jade Emperor, impressed with her heroic feats and sacrifices, made her a saint and gave her permission to go back home for 9 days everyLunar New Year. When her parents had passed away, she still kept her promise and came back in the form of a tree in front of her house. Whenever Lunar New Year comes around, the tree would be covered with beautiful, blossoming flowers. The villagers noticed the tree and started to bring its branches back home and plant them. As time went by, it became a custom for people to have a “Mai” plant at their home to decorate it for the Lunar New Year. With that, the tradition of decorating houses with that yellow flowered plant was created.