Meng Jiangnu's Bitter Weeping



Many beautiful legends and tales have left in China about the construction of the Great Wall. However, many of them have been based on historical records. Among them, the most popular would probably be the one about Meng Jiangnu. It was said that when Meng Jiangnu learned that her husband had died from the backbreaking labor, she wailed for several days and nights, until the Great Wall collapsed along a stretch of 400 kilometers, revealing the bones of her husband among the rubble. It was said that 2,000 years ago when Qin Shihuang (the First Emperor of the Qin) was building the Great Wall, a young called Fan Xiliang was forced to work on the construction of the Great Wall even on his wedding day. Before Fan Xiliang went away, his bride, a girl named Meng Jiangnu, took her white jade hairpin and broke it into two halves and gave her husband one half as a token of love. Meng Jiangnu waited for her husband at home for five years but did not hear a word from him. One night, Meng Jiangnu had a bad dream. She dreamed that her husband was constantly yelling: " Cold, cold!" She recalled that her husband was wearing very thin clothes. Very soon, she made some padded clothes and set off alone to look for Xiliang. After walking all the way on foot, crossing mountains and rivers, Meng Jiangnu finally got to the construction site of the Great Wall where she was told that her husband had died and was buried under the Great Wall. Hearing this sad news of the death of her beloved, she sat down at the foot of the Great Wall and started crying. She cried day and night, and her wailing made the wall fall. She finally saw her husband's bones under the wall . This made Qin Shihuang very angry, and he ordered Meng Jiangnu to be punished. When he saw the young lady, however, he was immediately attracted by her beauty. He asked her to marry him. Meng Jiangnu had to agree but asked for a grand funeral for her husband. After the funeral, she and Qin Shihuang went for a trip on the Bohai Sea. How could she marry the tyrant who had killed her husband? She could not, so she jumped into the sea unseen by the guards. Now on the shore of the Bohai Sea, beyond Shanhaiguan Pass there are two black rocky reefs. According to legend, the round one is Meng Jiangnu's tomb and the square one is her tomb tablet. Not far from her tomb, a temple was built on a small hill to commemorate the lady of chastity. Visitors to Shanhaiguan Pass should not miss the chance to see her "tomb" and temple.




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