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Story about Beijing White Pagoda Temple

Beijing White Pagoda Temple
Beijing White Pagoda Temple

The inner city of old Beijing has nine gates. As we all know, the west side of old city, there were two city gates, and the southern one was called Fucheng Men(阜成门),but the local people always call it Pingze Men(平则门). Originally, Pingze Men was the older name than Fucheng Men used in Yuan Dynasty. But why today’s local people still call it Pingze Men, there was a story about it.

Through Pingze Men, there is a well-known White Pagoda Temple, originally named Miaoying Temple. It was built a long time ago, and after several reconstructions, it was still in use. The same as small-size White Pagoda in Bei Hai, the white pagoda in this temple was also famous. But a long time ago, the body of this white pagoda suddenly appeared a split, and it was in the danger of breakdown. The pagoda keepers at once reported to the local official, and the local official reported to the higher official. The higher official hurriedly reported to emperor. The emperor had a shocking reaction and said:”How bad it is! The White Pagoda must be restored at one. The White Pagoda is the auspicious symbol of western capital. The breach of symbol surely will undermine the Feng Shui of national capital. If the Feng Shui is broken, how would our country be in the future? It is the calamity! ” The central government was anxious about this unlucky phenomenon. Let it alone, let us focus the reaction of the locals resided beside the White Pagoda Temple. The local residents were worried about the collapse of the pagoda, which may destroy their houses nearby. But they could not come up with a good solution.

At the time, in front of The White Pagoda, there was a noodle shop selling cakes and noodles. And an old vat mender used to mend things in Pingze Men and eat here. He was always silent and just had the big bowl of noodles. He never talked with anyone else. One Some talkative man incidentally asked this old man:”Hi, what can you mend?”. The old mean answered:”the big one”. Another man asked him again;”can you mend the wine jar? ”, and he answered:”just the big things”. And then another man walked nearer and told the old man:”Have you learnt that a long split emerging on the White Pagoda. It has endangered our houses. Can you mend it for us? ”. The old man still kept silent and just ate his noodles. Several minutes later, he answered that man:“I can do it”. Other people were in convulsions. They did not believe this old man at all. Someone even said:”if you mend this pagoda, I will invite you for drinking and dinner every day!”. Several days later, the local people amazedly found that the White Pagoda was really kept with a glittering hoop iron! And the old from then on never appeared in that place any longer. Hereafter, someone said it was done by this old man. And someone preached that this man was Lord Luban!

And then, the story of the old man mended the pagoda spread in Beijing, and the old man used to mend things in the area of Pingzemen, so the local people still kept this name though later the gate was called officially Fucheng Men.


Writer: David from Seeraa International
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