The Culture & Custom in Three Gorges


KonglingTan & "driving toward me "

 When a ship passes KonglingTan during the dry seasons, three Chinese characters which read "driving toward me "can be seen on the rock at the bottom of "Dazhu". The three characters reflect the dangerous and miserable life of the boatmen. The flow in KonglingTan is rapid and chaotic, because of thick reefs. Facing the rushing current and strange rocks in the middle of the river, nonexperienced boatman dodged in all the directions. However, they were always rushed towards the rockwall by the backflow and collapsed.As the time elapsed, the boatmen finally gleaned an experience through the long process of fighting .
   
It is that when navigating the ship to this place, in order to avoid the reef and get out of the danger, at first one had to pointed the stem towards the jagged rode at the bottom of " Dazhu" and then took the advantage of thrust generated by the back flow .The jagged rock was named by " driving towards me " which is a trial of every boatman's daring. There is a thoughtful story about the rock. On December 27, 1900, at the time of bitter winter and during the dry seasons, a Germany ship named passed here. Facing the dangerous terrain and rough sea, the captain was frightened out of his wits and could find no way out. The Germans had no way and changed a Chinese navigator to operate the rudder. The Chinese navigator, who was quite familiar with the boat routines, drove toward the jagged rock according to the rule. The foreign captain didn't understand this action, but thought that the Chinese was deliberately destroying and he avoided the jagged rock. In a flash moment, a strong flow over attacked "ShanZhu", the ship collapsed with the submerged reef and sank. According to the recorded historical materials, the shipping business, which only lasted for three years, was forced to be shut off for nine years.

The Ancient Plank Rood Along The Daning River
Along the rock wall by the right bank of the Daning River, the holes arranged horizontally. The small ordered square stone holes arranged from Longmen Gorge to Ningchanggu town in the Wu Gorge with the number of more than 6800 altogether. According to some concerning historical records, this was built in the 7th year of Eternal Peace period in Han Dynasty (64 A.D) with the use of drawing salty water from Ningchang to the Wu Gorge by bamboos. Later because of the stop of the projects on drawing salty water it was used as plank rood. Also the folktales said that it was used in ancient war, for instance Songtaizu(the first emperor of song dynasty) sent out the army to suppress Shu (a small nation next Song Dynasty's boundary),but Xiegang betrayed Tang Dynasty, and ZhangXianzhong entered Sichuan province and they all used this plank road . It was connected with zhuxi in Hubei province to the east, zhenping in Shanxi province to the north, and Chengkou County to the west. These Plank roads formed the ancient plank road web which was as long as several thousand kilometers .It can be estimated that this plank road web played an important role politically, militarily, economically and culturally for this region in the ancient times, Its broad scale, tremendous project and dangerous geography could apparently share the beauty with the famous Jiange Plank Road. As for this huge project, when on the earth it was firstly built, how the construction was undertaken, who proposed to build it, how long the project last for, and what it was mainly used for have left so many solicitudes. It provides the travelers with involvement and research programs for archeological association.

Zongzi
 Eating Rice Dumpling and Dragon Boats Competition At the time of May 5th in lunar calendar there is a tradition of eating rice dumplings and dragon boats competitions prevailing all through the country. This hereditary tradition is to honor Quyuan, a well-known ancient Chinese official.Why on the earth is this convention popular in China?he reason can be found in an interesting story,which is popular in Quyuan's hometown. After Quyuan drowned in the Miluo River, his country fellows suddenly dreamed one night that he came back.

He work the same clothes he wore when he was alive, but there was a bit of misery and paleness of his complexion. The country fellows with great happiness and saluted him. Quyuan said with the back solution," Thanks for your warmth, Chu country's people are so clear about what to love and to hate, and haven't forget me yet, I have no regrets in spite of my death." People found out that Quyuan was much weaker than before during reminiscing the bygones, so they asked concernedly: "Quyuan, did you take the rice that we sent for you?" " Thank you ", Quyuan appreciated at first, then sighed: "It was a pity that the rice you had sent for me was eaten by the aquatic animals such as fish, shrimp, tortoise and clam". The countrymen were all worried by hearing that: "What can we do to make the aquatic animals not to eat it?" After while, Quyuan said: "if the rice balls were covered by bamboo leaves and made into shapes with sharp horns the aquatic animals wouldn't care to eat them because they would take them as water chestnuts". At the next Dragon Boat Festival the countrymen made a lot of horned rice dumplings covered with bamboo leaves and cast them into the river. But after the Dragon Boat Festival, they dreamed Quyuan as he said: "I have taken many horned rice dumpling that you sent for me, but there were still a lot which were grabbed by the aquatic animals ". All people asked him again: " Is there any other better method? " Quyuan answered: " The method is that you add the signals of dragon to the dumplings when you casting them, because the aquatic animals are all in the charge of Dragon king. They will think of them as the Dragon King's sending and dare not snatch them at the sight of the beating of drums and the blare of trumpets from every side and the paddle's churning." The horned rice dumplings are today's Zhongzi. From then on, the custom of making the Zhongzi and paddling the dragon boats at the Dragon Boat Festival was extended from Quyuan's hometown to the whole country.
The Legend of Goddess Peak
In the ancient times the 23rd daughter of the immortal Queen of the heaven named Yaoji lived in the Yaochi palace. She learned various fairy crafts and was entitled Madam Yuanhua. Yaoji was born active and surely couldn't endure such lonely life in the celestial palace. One day she finally left the celestial palace and roamed the Donghai Sea with the accompany of her attendants. However, when she saw the strong winds and furious waves causing sever disaster for the human being, she left out of the Donghai Sea and mounted the clouds westwards. On the way she flied over thousands of mountains and ridges and appreciated all the fantastic views of the man's world. How happy they felt! When they got to the sky over the Mt. Wushan covered by boundless clouds and rains, they say 12 dragons stirring up trouble and causing damage to people. Yaoji got so furious that she determined to get rid of dragons and disaster for mankind.hus she stopped moving clouds and pointed at the dragons slightly. Then the roar of thunder was heard, the quake of the earth and mountains was seen. Till the winds and wines waves down, the carcasses of the 12 dragons had turned into 12 mountains Which flocked up the Wu Gorge, congested the Yangtze River, mate the surging flood over flew to the fields and residence and changed the zone of Sichuan nowadays to a boundless ocean .In order to bring the flood disaster under control, the hero Xiayu who was good at dealing with flood came to the Yangtze River from the Yellow River immediately. However, it was not so easy to take the manner if clearing the mountains and dredging the flood under the condition of such nigh mountains and swift flood. when Xiayu was extremely anxious, Yaoji was moved by his indomitable spirit, called on Huangmo, Tongjing and some other 4 assistants to exhibit their fairy crafts and to help Xiayu dredge the Three Gorges watercourse and let flood flow smoothly into the Donghai Sea. When Xiayu knew the fairy had helped him secretly, he climbed onto the Mt. Wu to thank Yaoji for her assistance. Getting to the top, he surprisingly found out a tall and erect blue stone. After a while it turned into a wisp of blue smoke and rose slowly, then into flocks of blue clouds, fast and thickly falling and floating dragons, colorful phoenixes, white cranes flying among mountains and valleys. As Xiayu was surprised, beautiful Yaoji appeared suddenly in front of him. She said: "you are creditable for dealing with the flood, but you should comprehend the changing causes of the things over the world". As saying so, she took out of a precious book covered with yellow sick fabric on handling with the disaster, and presented it to Xiayu. Although the flood has been brought under contort, Yaoji didn't leave but still stand firmly on the top of the Mt. Wu pointing out the courses for the passing ships, getting rid of dangers for people, summoning winds and rains for mankind, planting precious herbs for medicating. Year after year, she had forgotten the heaven as well as herself and finally turned into the attractive Goddess Peak, and her assistants also turned into several mountains just like natural barriers and warriors, quietly guarding around the goddess .The legend of the Goddess Peak spreads extensively with all kinds of forms .The ancient people around Mt. Wu called her "Miaoyong zhenren"(means ingenious person) respectfully in order to commemorate the goddess in their hearts and set up a NingzhenTemple (the Goddess Temple ) for her at the foot of the Mt. Filing Phoenix.
Dangled Coffin
On the east bank of the Bawu Gorge, there is a rectangular hole located about 4 or 5 hundred meters high at a yellowish- brown cliff, in which a pitch-dark coffin is placed. That's "Dangled Coffin" More than 2000 years ago Dangled -coffin burial was the customary burial manner of Pu race Who dwelled on the zone of Daning River. As result of textual research in Chuqiu zhanuwo period, the people made the coffin after their parents passing away and located it in the hole at the middle of the mountain facing the river, and lung the dead body from the top of the mountain. The higher the coffin located more dutiful the descendants appeared to be .The Danged -coffin Tower was built on the other bank of the river, where travelers can an get off the ship and land to appreciate the Bawu Gorge dangled coffins by high-degree telescopes.

Longgu Slope Ancient Ape-men's site
Longgu Slope Ancient Ape-men's site stands at Longgu Slope, Longping village, Miaoyu town, Wushan County, and takes up about 700 square meters. It was discovered in 1986. People found here the jaw bone fossils as well as soores of fossils which was the same level as the human being's, fossils of the Giant Monkey, the sword-toothed Tiger, the Double -horned Rhinoceros and so on. As a result of textual research, these fossils belonged to former renew century, 2,040,000 ago. This great discovery fills the gap of Chinese ancient human being's fossils, and has an extremely important scientific value in the research of the human beings origin and the history of Three-River Valley's development.
Daxi cultural site
Daxi cultural site, located at the eastern outlet of the Qutang Gorge, the Daxi town at the bank of Daning Rivers wide valley, is the origin of the Yangtze River's ancient culture. It's the important site of China's matriarchal New Stone Age. Guomo'ruo called it as " Daxi culture ". On the west of Daxi town, which belongs to Wushan county, there is a stream flowing into Yangtze River .It is named " Daixi" because of its dark green water. There are vast and mighty waters in the flood season, so it's also called "Daxi".
 

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