Tracing the Four Famous Love Stories on Chinese Valentine’s Day
Chinese Valentine's Day (Magpie Festival) is a traditional festival to express peoples' love for each other. In China, there are many touching love stories that have been passed down for thousands of years; let's trace the most famous ones among them.
Tianzhu Mountain: whispers beneath the Magpie Bridge
Located in Qianshan County of south-west Anhui Province, Tianzhu Mountain gets its name from its highest peak. On Tianzhu Mountain, traces of the Seven Fairies can be seen everywhere. It is said that Tianchi Peak (天池峰) was where they first descended. Also, there is Duxian Bridge (渡仙桥) and Tianchi (天池) which is for the Heavenly Queen Mother to bathe in.
The overall highlight is Magpie Bridge. On reaching Datianmen (大天门), Magpie Bridge is seen right before your eyes. It is like an upright overpass crossing over the cliff and visitors can circle down along the stone steps under the bridge. It is where the Cowherd and the Weaving Maid(It said she was The Jade Emperor's 7th daughter who was good at weaving according to ancient Chinese myths and legends) meet during the Magpie Festival (Chinese Valentine's Day).
The Great Wall: seeking a husband for thousands of miles
With several thousand years of history, the Great Wall is a wonder that was made by ancient Chinese laborers. Through the wash of time, the magnificent wall is still standing on the mountains. A legend of a woman seeking her husband and wailing on the Great Wall has also been passed down through history.
In the legend, Lady Mengjiang's persistence of love and her emotional cry finally broke the myth that the Great Wall never fell.
Broken Bridge: love in the West Lake
In the Legend of the White Snake, the Broken Bridge in the West Lake, is where the hero and heroine first meet and reunite. It is told that the White snake lived on a remote mountain, and was caught by a butcher one day, but she was saved by a shepherd boy. After one thousand years she became a beautiful woman, and looked for this shepherd boy in order to thank him for his kindness.The bridge witnesses their sentimental love and gains its reputation because of the legend. The Broken Bridge is situated on Bai Causeway.
It is a one-arch stone bridge with 8.8 meters in length, 8.6 meters in width, and 6.1 meters in arch span. The renovation last year retained its simple and elegant style. On its east side stands King Pavilion (景碑亭), named for Emperor Kangxi, and a waterside pavilion bearing the words “in clouds, water and light”.
The buildings and the bridge make up a classical picture of the north-east West Lake, attracting lovers to wander in the beautiful legend.
Wansong College: innocent puppy love
Wansong College, located on the north side of Wansong ridge on Phoenix Mountain, is said to be the place where Liang Shangbo and Zhu Yintai got to know each other and fell in love. It said that Zhu Yingtai was a girl who dressed up like a boy to study at Wansong College with Liang Shanbo. However, Liang Shanbo found Zhu Yingtai was a girl in the end, and then they fell in love with each otherm but they could not stay together because of resistance from Zhu Yingtai's parents. Finally, Liang Shanbo died of a disease and then Zhu Yingtai commited suicide in front of his grave. They then became butterflies and flew away together. In the stone forest to the right of the college, scenes depicting 18 farewells are craftily arranged according to the terrain, such as Guanyin Hall （观音堂）, Caoqiao Pavilion （草桥亭） and Single-plank Bridge （独木桥）.
The beautiful legend adds some humanism to the solemn college and, at the same time, the college provides a real site for the illusory legend.
I updated this article on March 10, 2014
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