Click to listenAnchor: Penglai County in East China's Shandong Province is a place of fairy tales. According to mythology£¬the ancient coastal castle of Penglai, about 65 kilometres northwest of Yantai city, is the abode of the gods. The legend of the "Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea" originated here. And the famous vision or mirage, which locals claim appears every few decades, has given a fascinating and mysterious atmosphere to the place. For a visit of fairy tales, delicious sea food and a mirage, if you are lucky enough, let's join our tourguide Yunfeng.
Click to see our Travel Express of Penglai: Where Have the Immortals Gone...
Click to have a Video Tour in Penglai
Having long been known as a fairyland, Penglai is believed to be one of the three supernatural mountains inhabited by immortals. The other two are Yingzhou and Fangzhang, which were frequently visited for wonder herbs by emperors since Qin and Han dynasties. The famous legend of "Eight immortals crossing the sea" finds its origin here. It is said that the eight immortals, namely Lu Dongbin, Tie Guaili, Zhang Guolao, Han Zhongli, Cao Guojiu, He Xiangu, Lan Caihe and Han Xiangzi got drunk at Penglai Pavilion and crossed the sea by different tricks of their own without ships or boats. Their performance hovering over the waves against wind left a popular saying that "like the Eight Immortals crossing the sea, each one showing his or her special feats; each tries to outwit the other." Today the saying means that everybody has his or her own way of dealing with things.
The world famous Penglai Pavilion is seated on the hill of Danyashan close to the sea in the north of Penglai county. Built in 1061, it is listed as one of the four famous pavilions in China together with Huanghelou Pavilion, Yueyanglou Pavilion and Tengwangge Pavilion. It is in fact a vast group of ancient buildings on a land of less than 2 square kilometers, composed of the six buildings and their attached constructions including Penglaige Pavilion, Tianhou Palace, Longwu Palace and Luzu Temple. Attractively on display in these buildings are works of calligraphy of famous literary writers, couplet hung on the columns of halls and stone inscriptions.
East of the pavilion is the Penglai water city, one of the oldest military harbors in ancient China, where there were facilities like dry docks, piers and emplacements, all against hills overlooking the sea.
Local tour guide will tell you that Penglai has many folk customs. And The most famous is the traditional fair of Penglai Pavilion held on January 16, according to the lunar calendar at the Heavenly Queen's Palace.
The Heavenly Queen is also called Mazu in Fujian Province. According to mythology, she was the daughter of Lin Yuan, inspector of Putian, Fujian in the Song Dynasty Her name was Lin Mo.
It is said she was born with red lights and fragrance, and seldom cried. She helped the poor, warded off devils and saved endangered fishing boats.
When Lin died at the age of 19, she became the Goddess of the Sea. Because she blessed ships at sea, people in Fujian offered her sacrifices.