Total Visitors in the Day：-丨
Real-Time Vistors in the Day：-丨
Negative Oxygen Ions：-丨
Air Quality: Level I丨
Noise: Class I丨
Surface Water Quality: Class II
Nine Bulls, Two Tigers and One Chicken
People often use “nine bulls and two tigers” to describe a person with great power. When the Qing government reinforced Embankment, it forged “nine bulls and two tigers and one chicken” and placed them at the intersection to subdue the water. It is said that at that time when the iron bull was cast, its belly was filled with gold heart and silver gallbladder. At night, the bull often ran to the field to steal crops from common people. When people came out to beat it, they beat its horns off with a stick. After that, someone who was greedy stole the gold heart and silver gallbladder. As a result, the iron bull failed to move and lost the function of subduing water. The existing iron bulls are as big as real ones. All of them raise their head and bend their knees. They seem to be mooing. Looking charmingly naïve, the bulls lie on a joint iron seat about 10cm thick. The casting is fine, the posture is vivid, and they weigh about 2500 kilograms. The shoulders of the iron bulls are engraved with regular characters cut in relief: “only metal can restrict wood, so a dragon is hidden. Only earth can subdue water, so the turtle and snake are sunk into the water. We hereby cast rhinoceros to subdue Huaiyang and forever remove the ill fortune for our emperor. On the Dragon Boat Festival of 1701 during the reign of Emperor Kangxi.” With the passage of time, these iron bulls have become the most popular scene on Hongze Lake.
Deity Traces Everywhere in Laozi Mountain.
Laozi Mountain in Hongze is said to be the place where Laozi practiced alchemy. At the end of the Spring and Autumn Period, Laozi rode a green bull to the foot of Lupu Mountain. Having seen the delicate and graceful mountains and the murmuring Huai River, an idea soon occurred to him: to collect herbs, practice alchemy, and cure diseases for people here. Laozi relieved countless people from sufferings, finally accomplished the great feat and left relievedly. Later, people found that there was a cave in this mountain, with steep walls in it. The cave is several zhang (1 zhang= 3 1/3 m) deep. Inside the cave, there was a stone bed and a stone table. They thought it was Laozi’s residence, hence the name “Deity Cave”. Along the Huai River on the west side of the middle mountain, there was a huge rock with marks of tripod feet. And the stones around were all red. They thought Laozi may have built a furnace and practiced alchemy here, so they called it “Alchemy Terrace”. While at the southern foot of the south mountain, there was another prostrate rock, on which there was a hoof-shaped cave. The cave had ponding all the year round, and the water was so pellucid that the bottom can be seen clearly. The water neither overflowed nor dried up. Once the water was drained, it can revive. If you searched, you wouldn’t find any connection of spring sources. People all wondered and thought this was a hoof mark left by Laozi after he rode the green bull to Hangu in the west, so it was also called “Relic of the Green Bull”. For this reason, “Deity Cave Sunset”, “Meditating on the Past at Alchemy Terrace” and “Listening to Oriole at the Relic of the Green Bull” have become three major landscapes of Laozi Mountain.
Taking Daughters Home with a Colorful Boat
“A girl who marries out is like water splashed out”. But immediately after the first day of the lunar year, fishermen in Hongze Lake will beautifully dress up the fishboat and take their daughters home, talking about daily life in the families and treating them with utmost cordiality. Early this century, there were numerous fishermen from the Huaihe River Basin, who were scattered along the Hongze Lake. On February 2 that year, a fisherman drove a flower boat into a little turtle beach on Hongze Lake, picking up his daughter to the parent’s home with the boat, and driving to the upper reaches of the Huaihe River, full of laughers all the way. The scene was very magnificent. The local fisherman was curious, and the woman said that this was the custom of my family. After saying this, the woman chanted a ballad with relish: the colorful boat of the girl’s family took the girl home, and the husband’s family sent this virtuous girl back. With these exchanges, they revealed their innermost feelings and both families praised the matchmaker. From then on, the custom of taking daughters home with a colorful boat has been handed down year after year in Hongze Lake area, just like a little drama with a fascinating flavor.
Laozi Mountain and Laozi
Laozi is a descendant of Peng Zu, who was born on the bank of the Huai River. His mother was pregnant after eating a plum drifting in the afar. Having been pregnant for 81 years, she eventually gave birth to a white-haired son, hence the name Li Laozi. Since there were three otorrheas in the ear, he was also known as Lao Dan. In order to develop the Western Regions and promote the rites of Zhou, the Zhou Dynasty sent Laozi to canvass in the West. During his journey, after eating a divine grass of the Queen Mother of the West, he became an immortal. One day, he rode a green bull from the Heavenly Palace to a rock in the sea. After the water receded, that rock became a hill, He practiced alchemy there and treated disease for local fishermen. People worshipped him as “Supreme Old Lord” and called this mountain Laozi Mountain.
Fish Eats Elixir
After Sun Wukong wrought havoc in heaven, he stole elixir from the Supreme Old Lord to eat. At his wit’s end, the Old Lord had to avoid Sun Wukong, rode a cloud and went straight west, and looked for a quiet place for practicing alchemy. Standing at the cloud, the Old Lord saw a green hill beneath. At the foot of the hill, there was a vast expanse of green grass. After landing on the ground, the Old Lord looked around and found that it was exactly the old mountain on the south bank of Hongze Lake. It happened that there was a cave too. So the Old Lord collected herbs and practiced alchemy here to produce elixir. Sun Wukong was eager to ask the Old Lord for elixir, but he can’t seek him out. Thereafter, he rode a cloud and went straight west. As soon as he saw a hill on the south bank of Hongze Lake, he landed and went into a Deity Cave on the south slope of the hill, where he saw the Old Lord busy making elixir. The moment the Old Lord saw Sun Wukong, he hurriedly put the divine pill into his cucurbit, rode a cloud and rushed to the sky. Sun Wukong followed closely and reached to grab the cucurbit. Having seen that the elixir was about to be grabbed by Sun Wukong, in a fit of rage, the Old Lord raised a big pontil and smashed the cucurbit. Sun Wukong grabbed several divine pills, but the remaining fell into Hongze Lake. Fishes, shrimps and crabs vied with each other to eat the elixir. Since then, the fish in Hongze Lake becomes so fresh, savory and delicious that they are known far and wide till today.
Liu Ji Built a Dike
Liu Ji helped Zhu Yuanzhang to annihilate the Yuan Dynasty and establish the Ming Dynasty. The country was prosperous and the people were at peace. But the floods were very serious and often inundated crops. Emperor Zhu issued a decree, ordering Liu Ji to build water conservancy projects. Having received the decree, Liu Ji went to Hongze Lake to investigate the terrain, from Laozi Mountain to Qingjiang River. According to his survey, the terrain in this area was high and uneven, and the weir was not built by the horizontal line, so once water came to the upstream, the downstream would burst. To find out the reason for the breach, Liu Ji bought a large amount of rice bran from common people, transported to the upstream and put it down on the water at Laozi Mountain. He slowly spread the rice bran on the water, let the bran show the locations of the both sides of the river, and found out the horizontal line. After that, he built a low bank according to the position of the bran. This is exactly the winding Hongze Lake Embankment today. After Liu Ji built the weir in this way, there was no breach and the weir is in good condition till now. People call this solid and firm weir that cannot be washed away by water, “steel weir”.
The Fishermen Don’t Brush Pots in Water
Once upon a time, there was an old fisherman couple in Hongze Lake. They were very poor and had only 1 broken boat and 1 broken pot. One day, the old couple passed by the Hongze Lake and wanted to buy some food and a small pot at the market. When the boat was pulled in to shore and they bought groceries at the market, people in the grocery store or stall made no response, so the old man was very angry. Having seen that it was at dusk, in a hurry, he grabbed a handful of grain rice from the grain retailer, took a small pot from the grocery store, and then turned around for the boat. However, the seller didn’t chase after and ask him for money. The fisherman was very surprised. After getting on the boat, he found a vast expanse of water all around. The old couple suddenly realized that this was Sizhou. The next morning, the fisherman found that the grain rice he took home turn into fresh fish. The old couple was overjoyed and soon carried the fish to the market to sell. Later, they bought this rice again, happily returned to the boat and were ready to cook it. When they opened the lid of the pot, there was already rice and dish in the pot. The old couple lived on this pot for a long time. One day, the old fisherwoman put this pot in water, to brush it clean. However, the pot disappeared immediately it entered the water. For this reason, the fishermen in Hongze Lake no longer brush their pots in the lake. This custom has been passed down till today.