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Xian Story

Son-in-Law
For those parents without son are also like to enlist son-in-laws in Xian. To know the origin of the custom, the elders came down such legends.
Traced back to the Ming Dynasty, a person named He had married wife Cheng, with three sons and one daughter afterwards, and they were named Rong, Hua, Fu, Gui respectively. But after they grew up, the three sons have lived their own life, without choice, the elder couples has to live with their daughter. Life was difficult on such condition. However, the rigid old guy never requested his sons to help but in stead to break off their relationships.
One day, the old man and his daughter saved a pale-faced scholar on their way back home from the mountains. It is a scholar that without parents and being poor. And he was so weak that he was slipped down on the mountainside. Since then, he has been lived in the senior couple¡¯s house.
From then on, the daughter of the geezer often learnt words and poems from the scholar and they were fallen in love soon. For that, the couples have decided to recruit him as son-in-law. They four live a harmonious life afterwards. Later, such matters are well known door-to-door.

Guan Zhong College Story
From the southbound carriageway of the tower, adjacent to the south gate is the college gateway¡ªan ancient cultural street.
"Guan Zhong College" is the highest learning institution during Ming & Qing dynasties in Shaanxi, as well has regarded as one of the four famous National Colleges and best one among the four in Northwest.
Speaking of its rise & fall course, a story goes like this. A famous scholar Feng Congwu, as a ministry of chancery, was upright and frank that he was directly criticized the emperor¡¯s dissipated life and was quitted back home. Afterwards, he began to study on psychology and discoursed on an academic subject in front of thousands of audients. For that, the place was renamed as ¡°Guan Zhong College¡± for him specialty. The building was in large-scale, with 6 schoolrooms in the middle and totally 10 rooms surrounded. Rockworks, pools, bridges and two-layer doors are all contribute to its spectacular.
With absolute authority controlled by Wei Zhongxian, the college was destroyed in the year 1626 with all the works inside were all melted.
Day to the Qing Dynasty, Kangxi three years (1664), Xian district magistrate, a county magistrate Xianning Governor repaired and expanded the College, as the place for lectures in the East part and west the rest site for students. For several times repairs in the following dynasties, the Guan Zhong College has been rebuilt into Shaanxi Pedagogic College in the year 1906, which was considered as the tiptop institution in the five provinces northwest. Nowadays, it is the Xian Pedagogic School.

Skirt Origin in Chang¡¯an
In addition to the attractive appearance, it is known that the emperor of Tang Dynasty chose concubines as well attached importance on the body fat. Account for the facial and body appearance, empress Wu Zetian was been chosen into palace.
Later, when Empress Wu Zetian, the female emperor, she selected virtuous, managed state affairs well, the state gradually become strong and prosperous. As less things she should considered, fatter she became. Her obesity legs, plus the silk ease pants, two legs rubbed all the time that made her feel very embarrassed but she could not blame others.
One day, Wu Zetian was annoyed; she really didn¡¯t want to see her legs. Suddenly, an idea stroke her that maybe a piece of satin veil could blot out them. She tried such mind on the maid-in-waiting, so much satisfied.
About how to name it, she thought a lot, for one thing it is a kind of clothes and was created by the empress, so the letter ¡°skirt¡± be defined as its name.
But not as good as she imagined, still the grating sound could be heard. She was somewhat disappointed and thought about how to improve. The bell sounds on the pavilion that relieved her a lot. According to that, she added several small bulbous under the skirt that the rubbing sound couldn¡¯t be heard any more.
Later, the skirt from the palace reached civil, gradually became women¡¯s favorite.

Call White Black

In Qin Dyansty, the Prime Minister Zhao Gao absolutely controlled the authority upon the royal emperor and he was willing to insurgence all the time. He was afraid that his authority was not as influential as he thought, worried that the ministers would not follow him fully. So that once he tested the officers, he led along a head of deer but instead he said that he would give a horse to the emperor. The emperor said that it was deer but not horse. Then Zhao Gao asked other ministers what should it be. Some said horse as the emperor while some deer for being afraid of Zhao Gao. Afterwards, those who said as deer have been persecuted by him, from then on, all infear of him.

Legend about the Bell Tower
It is said that earthquakes occurred in succession killed many people in Ming Dynasty, and it is widely believed that an evil gigantic dragon in the huge undercurrent beneath the city caused it. Then the Tower built up on the place of where the dragon was trussed up, the earthquake stopped forever.
Still there was another story came down concerned with the first emperor of the Ming dynasty who was born into a poor family. He lived an orphan life after his parents¡¯ deaths, herding sheep for the rich landowners. Later, when he became the Emperor, afraid of being disposed by other royal descents, he ordered bell towers to be built all over the country to repress the ¡°dragon spirits¡±. Therefore, Xian was considered the center place where the ¡°dragon spirits¡± run rampant.

Legend about the Nine-Dragon Pool
The Nine Dragon Pool of Huaqing Pool, according to legend, the Central Shaanxi Plain was once stricken by a severe drought in the very remote past. Thus, by the order of the Jade Emperor (the Supreme Deity of Heaven), an old dragon came at the head of eight young ones, and made rain here. Yet when the disaster was just abating, they lowered their guard so much that it became serious again.
In a fit of anger, the Jade Emperor kept the young dragons under the Jade Cause Way, with the Morning Glow Pavilion and the Sunset Pavilion built at both ends of it respectively, to make the young dragons spout cleat water all day long to meet the needs of local irrigation. Besides, he had the old dragon confined to the bottom of the Roaring Dragon Waterside Pavilion situated at the upper end of the Jade Causeway, and obliged him to exercise control over the young.

Hongmen Banquet
--A feast or meeting set up as a trap for the invited
In the late Qin Dynasty, Xiang Yu and Liu Bang were two important forces confronting each other. There was an orally assumpsit that ¡° first entry to the pass is the King¡±. Liu Bang caught the chance that he swift-footed arrived first in Xian Yang. But about a month later, when Xiang Yu with his troops garrisoned Hongmen, he felt angry with that and threatened to annihilate Liu Bang. On hearing that, Liu Bang with his followings went to the Hongmen to offer an apology. Xiang Yu, as a person without threwdness, on hearing his explanation, immediately calmed his anger and junket Liu Bang. The idea man Fan Zeng has caution against Xiang Yu that Liu Bang would surely contested with him for the King sooner or later and instigated to kill Liu Bang as soon as possible.
Now that the chance is coming, during the banquet, he has hinted secretly to Xiang Yu for several times. Unfortunately, he had to think of other ways. He got Xiang Zhuang pretended sword dancing in order to assassinate Liu Bang. But such action was saw through by Xiang Bo, who was afraid of much more serious confliction, has protected Liu Bang intentionally. Presently, the banquet was at swords¡¯ points, the quick-witted Liu Bang made a prompt decision to get away in order to avoid being killed. Xiang Yu missed great chance, his irresolution was somewhat doomed his perdition afterwards.
The above is the famous Hongmen Banquet in history.

Laba Rice Porridge
In Han Dynasty, the eighth of the twelfth month of the lunar year, people would boil porridge routinely and named as ¡°Laba rice porridge¡± contains glutinous rice, red beans, millet, Chinese sorghum, peas, dried lotus seeds, red beans and some other ingredients, such as dried dates, chestnut meat, walnut meat, almond, peanut, etc. Actually eight ingredients are used cooked with sugar to make the porridge tasty. According to different places, there are different edition about its origin, among which the most popular is the commemoration of the story of the Buddha Sakyamuni.
Legend of Sakyamuni Buddha escaped from the palace to Dudu Hill became a monk after studying classics, and the degree of hardship among the mountains for six years. After he finished study, is the day of the 8th lunar calendar, is the general Buddhists called the "Buddha attained day."
According to the "causal as records¡±, Sakyamuni Asceticism for six years, had no time to attend to personal food, clothing, daily anesthesia after eating some wheat. Perennial without enough food and clothing and became as a wood general in the end.
He got down the hill exhaustedly and begged on the riverbank. The herd fem had boiled mike for him that he got well gradually. After Buddhism flourished, in order to commemorate the event, the ancient Indian regulates the day as ¡°the day of fast¡± and almsgiving day to the poor.
In Eastern Han, after introduction of Buddhism, the eighth of the fourth month charity this matter gradually become a boiled "Laba Rice Porridge" practices. In some Buddhist temples such action is aimed to celebrate the above event.
Along with the rise of Buddhism, Laba Rice Porridge became popular. The wealth make much more refined porridge while the poor boil as well but simple-made. Words go that without porridge on the 8th of the lunar month, next year will be even poorer. In Qing Dynasty, the porridge would be boiled by Lama in the Yonghe Temple for paying tribute.
After the day, people will begin preparing for the Spring Festival. However, for the poor, the deadline of repaying their debt would draw near.

Ancient Titles of Noodles
As we all know that noodle is a kind of flour food at large, however when we mention about ¡° Tang Bing¡±, ¡°Bu Tuo¡± and ¡°Pu Ren¡±, it is afraid that fewer people would know it. Actually speaking, all the titles are for noodles in ancient.
According to the history records, people started to call noodles as ¡°Bu Tuo¡±, means that the flour piece has been cut into strip directly by knife instead of holding on the palm. To distinguish from the former kind, which has been pressed by palm, the slice ¡°Tang Bing¡±. Moreover, the custom to eat birthday noodles was very well in popular since Tang. In Song Dynasty, the civilians like to call it ¡° Tang Bing¡±, ¡°Bu Tuo¡± and ¡°Pu Ren¡±. After the third day of the born, people invited friends to attend their ¡°Tang Bing Feast¡± to eat noodles as celebration.

Qi Qiao on the Chinese Valentine's Day.
The story of Herd-boy and the Weaving-girl is the most popular love story; story said that seven fairies descend to the world to get married with Herd-boy. Three years later, they gave birth to a son and a daughter, life is happy. Suddenly, the Emperor and the Queen Mother found Weaving-girl in blowing marrying, put God has captured, the couple was separated. Later, the Emperor only allows the Cowboy and Weaving-girl annual Lunar July 7 between the Galaxies to meet once. The Chinese people believe that the star Vega, east of the Milky Way, is Zhi Nu and, at the constellation of Aquila, on the western side of the Milky Way, Niu Lang waits for his wife.
The weaver-girl is artful and delicacy that folks gradually formed the custom of ¡°Qi Qiao¡± on the day of their meeting. Traced back to the Tang Dynasty, there have already many poems that related to ¡°Qi Qiao¡±. It is quite interesting in the activities in Xianyang area. Every year on the 6th of the 6th lunar month, girls would soak the well-selected peas in the basin with calico covered in the shadow and change the water for couple of days. It is not until the bean sprout has grown up to two or three inches, they would prick them on the waist by colored threads. What was called as ¡°Qiao Yaya¡± locally.
In the dusk of the Double Seven Day, girls would prick pillows into a person-shape of Weaver girl that named ¡°Qiao Niang Niang¡±. In front, flowers, fruits and rulers etc. will be put on the table, with songs followed by girls. That¡¯s not finish, the most important game will be begin that they would match with each other on sewing work.
Qi Qiao festival of long standing has become a social fun among civilians, which has strongly placed the girls¡¯ artful genius that endowed by the heaven.

Tsang Pilgrimage
Story of the ¡°Pilgrimage to the West¡± all along been taken delight in talking about by people. The authentic ante type of Monk Tang in history is Xuanye who had been entered into religion in the early age of 13. He studied hard plus his dowry intelligent that he could retell the lection with a deep understanding after the sermon.
In the year 618 A.D., he went to Chang¡¯an learning lections and was initiated into monkshood at his 32nd. The deeper he achieved, the more puzzled he became. Especially when he found that being limited by the translation level, many translated lections were far from its original meaning. He got acquaintance with an Indian Monk to the moment, and then he decided to go to Indian to round lections. Lantuo Temple was the highest institution in India as well the cultural science center. During his courses there, he studied hard and researched with great concentration to attained brilliant achievements. Afterwards, he took 657 sets of books back to Chang¡¯an. With the help of Emperor Tang Tai Zong, in 19 years, he with his translation organization had translated up to 75 books of more than 13,000,000 words. What he had done has contributed a lot on prosperous of Chinese Culture. Moreover, according to his personal experience, he composed a book named ¡° Da Tang Western Journey¡±. Which has supplied precious data on researching Indian culture and unearthing ancient sites. His story later became materials of the story ¡°Pilgrimage to the West¡±. With the story spreaded abroad, Xuan Ye known to all as well.

Enigma of the Gigantic Bell
On the northwest corner of the Bell Tower there displays an iron bell made in Ming Dynasty. It is a bell of 5 tons with the Eight Diagrams casting on the border, however it is much more smaller than the one that hanging here.
The original gigantic bell that founded in the Jingyun period of Tang Dynasty, which was called ¡° Jing Yun Bell¡±, now has been housed in the Forest of the Stone Steles Museum. As the story goes, after the Bell Tower has been moved into the present site, although without any change in the building size or style, the Jing Yun Bell couldn¡¯t soundable.
Without alternative, only to change a new bell. For such event, there were kinds of guessworks recorded. Some held the mind that historical bell with spiritualism-resisted movement; while other said later that the bell should be moved outside. Whatever it is, such condition put on a sort of mystery on the Bell Tower history.
Inexplicably, how did such huge bell be moved onto the Bell Tower? There is a place named Qiao Xin Kou on the west part of Xida Street, accordingly to say, once there was built a skew bridge in order to made use of its slope to carry the bell. It is long to 2 centuries from now on, and the puzzle of how the Bell Tower moved into present place has not been uncovered yet.

Mystery Construction
-- The Small Wild Goose Pagoda
The construction of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda is a wonder. For the condition that Xian is located in the area where earthquakes occur at times, the pagoda base is made from the packed earth in the shape of a hemisphere and set up in 707 originally had 15 stories about 45 meters in height at the request of Yijing to preserve scriptures.
But it was damaged during a series of earthquakes in the late 15th and 16th centuries. In 1847, the pagoda was split from top to bottom by the impact of an earthquake of 6 points on the Richter scale. Amazingly, it did not fall. In 1556 another quake, 8 on the Richter scale, had its epicenter some 75 kilometers (47 mile) east of Xian. The crack healed overnight; therefore it was called the "Magic Healing". After so many earthquakes, only the pinnacle and the two upper floors (the original pagoda had fifteen stories) have been damaged.

The Origin of Winter Clothing Day
Lunar October 1st is Chinese Winter Clothing Day, for today people pay much more attention on memorizing the dead men. Same as the Tomb-sweeping Day in spring and Zhongyuan Day in autumn, they three are ¡°Ghost Days¡± of the whole year.
In old times, woman kinds have to sew clothes personally for relatives far away. If the relatives have been died away, paper will be burnt instead of real clothes. It is said that such festival was originated from the legend of Meng Jiangnv.
In accordance to the folklore, after Meng¡¯s marriage, her husband was immediately be trailed a pike for the Great Wall construction. Years later, she innumerable trials and hardships to bring winter clothes to her husband. But only got the news that he died, she cried a lot and put on the clothes for his corpse. So the Winter Clothing Day came into existence.
In ancient times, on the day before October 1st, the whole family would worship ancestor. They add soil on the tombs that holding by the clothes. More soil has took, more flourish the family would be. On the very day of the festival, the males under the lead ship of the Shaikh carried with hampers, table and rich offerings to cherish the memory of the dead.
Nowadays, such action has already been desalted, especially for the citizens that they just standing in silent tribute or presenting a piece of flowers to commemorate the parting relatives.
In the past, October 1st as well the off-duty day for the long-term hired hand, so it called casual laborer Day. The employers had to junket the labors with food and water and pay for them. On such occasion, they would announce whether the workers would be continue working here, and the ones stayed named as ¡° Da Dong¡± or ¡° Kang Dong Huo¡±.

Legend about the Crystal Pancakes
Crystal pancakes are traditional Shaanxi pastry with a history that long to 800 years.
Legend has it that in the Northern Song Dynasty, Kou Zhun, the famous clean-fingered official, once went back to his hometown from Beijing. It happened to be his 50th birthday, so his friends and relatives brought peaches, steamed bread, and inscribed wooden boards for his birthday celebration. During the course of the banquet, a servant brought in an intricate wooden box in which Kou found 50 crystal-clear pancakes. The red paper sheet that covered the cakes read, ¡°Penetrating are your eyes, and pure is your heart; being able to tell the loyal from the wicked, you are upright from the start." The name of the sender was "an old man from Weibei." Later, Kou's chef learned its cooking technique. The name "Crystal pancakes" given by Kou is still in use today.
Zhao Kuangyin & Niu Yang Rou Pao Mo
In those years while Zhao Kuangyin was still desititute, penniless and homeless in Chang¡¯an. He was so much hungry that only two pieces of mo (a kind of Chinese staple food) by himself, which were too dry to eat. By the roadside there was just a teashop steaming beef, he wanted to ask for a bowl of soup to soak the mo. The merchant took mercy on him that let Zhao Kuangyin break off the mo and watered hot-beef-soup. On receiving, he swallowed that has forced away chilliness and left aroma long.
Ten years later, as Zhao Kuangyin has became the Emperor that everything was available but nothing so appealing to him. Once he traveled through Chang¡¯an where he had have his unforgettable meal, suddenly he felt an appetite for eating and ordered to stopp for a bow of Niu Rou Pao Mo. On hearing so, the merchant of the teashop was at once all in a fluster for how to cook without mo in his shop. There was no time to leaven dough so he could only ask his wife to bake some cake in hurry. Even the cakes were not be very-well cooked, he was afraid that the Emperor would taste crude, so to break off the cakes into small pieces, and boiled in the soup for a while with some beef and aborative flavoring adding on. Highly-praise was endowed on such cate with hundreds of taels following. The event has spreaded out quickly around Chang¡¯an. To their curiosities, many persons went and asked for a taste. For its nice flavor, more and more people came to have a taste. The shopowner had no choice but to ask the guests themselves breaking off personally.
Due to the busy business of the taeshop, beef sometimes in short supply instead they tried to use mutton, which was also delicious. The Niu Yang Rou Pao Mo was originated so. Gradually, it has become a kind of local snack till now.

The Converted Character ¡°Fu¡± in China
Whether at present or in the past, to place the character ¡°blessing¡± on the door has very well embodied people¡¯s yearning and pursuit for happiness. Many places convert the character to adopt partial tone that ¡°fu qi dao le¡±( good luck has arrived). The custom was originated as early as Ming Dynasty and how to came into being, three versions are existed.
The first story is related to Prince Gong Palace. On the eve of the Spring Festival during Qing Dynasty, in order to please his master, the majordomo wrote several so big character ¡°Fu¡± and asked to placard on the doors. However, there was one servant who was analphabetic so that he converted the character that on the main gate. The wife of infante was angry to see that and would to punish them. The majordomo was afraid that he would also be punished. A sudden clever idea struck him that he said that the converted ¡°Fu¡± meant good luck has came already. On hearing that, the wife of infante awarded the servents instead of punishment.
The second version is about Empress Cixi. Ancient China has a custom that ¡°day of 24th of the 12th month of the lunar year, every house writes majuscule¡±. Some year as usual, Empress Cixi ordered the scholars to write some Spring Festival couplets, then they racked their brains, exhausted the flowery words, and then show to the Empress. However, the Emperor was unhappy for she found there was not a single character ¡°Fu¡±. The scholars were afraid of the Emperor being angry and begged for forgive, and then the Empress adjured to write some ¡°Fu¡± words to paste. Still the situation as happened in the first version that a mistake made a converted ¡°Fu¡± to adopted as a propitious omen. And such habit has gradually summoned to folk custom.
The last version concerned with Zhu Yuanzhang and Empress Ma. Such saying was probably deduced from the originalty legend. After Zhu Yuanzhang has seized Nanjing, he secretly ordered his confidants to paste ¡°Fu¡± on the families who has ever supported or helped his army, to the effect that he could kill all those without the words pasted. The well-meaning Emperor Ma transpired such condition and in order to avoid the calamity, she commanded all to put ¡°Fu¡± on the doors. All families are obeyed to do so and one illiterate family mistook to put a converted character ¡°Fu¡±. At first, Zhu Yuanzhang was angry but the Emperor said cleverly that converted ¡°Fu¡± meant to welcome the Emperor as a kind of good lucky. Afterwards, it gradually became a custom to put on converted ¡°Fu¡±.

Chinese Lobster Pieces Atop Garlic Greens
--Long Feng Cheng Xiang
Dragon and phoenix are both symbols of Chinese Culture, which if combined together named ¡°Chinese lobster pieces atop garlic greens¡± would appear to be the most uphold lucky decoration. Historians have pointed that back to 5000 years ago, dragon and phoenix were found in the pre-historical relics as the signs to indicate Liao drainage area was one of dragon and phoenix culture cradle.
The legend of ¡°Chinese lobster pieces atop garlic green¡± is of long standing. For thousands of years, small to the fineries, craftworks, household utensils and big to the building constructions, lines of dragon and phoenix have permeated everywhere. But concerning the original appearance where and when it came out, there still lack powerful archaeological evidence. The excavation of Niuheliang historical relics has offered the answer to the question. It is the place where dragon and phoenix appeared as a kind of sacrifice or status representability synchronously. And compared to the former discovery, the time has been ahead of more than 2000 years. All the above has proved that Liaoning Province should be the cradleland of ¡°Chinese lobster pieces atop garlic greens¡±. Dragon and phoenix are both the most representative and typical cultural elements. Due to their important history status, in all ages, the originality directly came down to the cultural nascence.

Wooden Spoon Facial Makeup
The special Shaanxi wooden spoon facial makeup, which holds a history of more than 1500 years, has been very much fond of people both domestic and foreign. Series as suspenders, She Huo and ancient mascots. About 300 pieces of artworks that has feasted our eyes.
In history of the areas Guanzhong and Shaannan, at one time, it was popular in hanging colour-drawned shaped wooden spoon as a kind of talismanic decorations. So as something unsatisfied happened, the locals would invite She Huo craftmen to draw a a good surface graphics on the daily use wooden spoon hanging on the doorframe or house girder. It is said that such action could get rid of bad fortune and evil happenings. Maybe it is ridiculous in doing such things for us at present, but at then while science developed only on a low level, people chose the way to ropose their good wishes on the spoon, in a large degree had relieved themselves spiritually. This and other folk of our motherland as the Spring Festival couplets and Dragon Boat Festival have the same principle.

 


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