Legend of Yangtze River and Yellow River
Once upon a time, a terrible drought hit the world. The gods of mountain and land reported the drought to the heaven, and a green dragon and a yellow dragon were sent to help people. The two dragons found that two demons, Wang and Liang who sent small monsters to set fires everywhere while also casting spells on people to make them painful, angry and wanting to hurt each other.
The dragons were disguised as two monks who treated people with some medicines. They also taught people magic spells to banish the angry and any remaining pain. Three months later, many people recovered and went back to normal life. Knowing their spell was broken; Wang and Liang sent a troop of 50,000 monsters to fight the green and yellow dragons. After 7 days and 7 nights, when the troop of monsters was almost defeated, Wang and Liang led two columns of bewitched people and monsters like two huge fire dragons, marching to the green and yellow dragons. Every corner the “fire dragons” passed was charred. To stop the demons, the green and yellow dragons transformed into two cold rivers and flowed toward the “fire dragons”. Three days later, fires were put out and all the monsters were submerged. However, the green and yellow dragons were injured and gradually became part of the earth transforming into the Yangtze River and Yellow River.
Turtle Mountain and Snake Mountain
The turtle and snake used to be two generals following the Dragon King in East Sea, but they despised each other and always fought. The Dragon King was furious and tied them at the banks of the Yangtze River in Wuhan. The turtle and snake transformed into two mountains, one at the bank in Hanyang, and the other in Wuchang. Even though they were being punished, they still hated each other and continued to fight, even with the Yangtze River in between. The two mountains grew larger and larger and wanted to reach towards the middle of the river to bite each other. Therefore, the waterway narrowed more and more. Upstream, the Yangtze River became blocked resulting in submerged villages and fields.
When Lü Dongbin, a Taoist immortal, heard about this problem; he immediately knew that if the two mountains met in the river, the Yangtze River would be cut off and upper reach areas would submerged. He then transformed himself to an old man and came to the Snake Mountain with a silver hoe. He thumped the hoe at the midsection of the Snake Mountain, and the snake’s bones were broken. Painfully, the snake shrank back to the riverbank in Wuchang. Now a lowered part can still be found in the middle section of the Snake Mountain, as if it were broken.
Lü Dongbin went across the river to Hanyang and invited craftsmen to built a Temple of King of Great Yu on Turtle Mountain so that the power of the Great Yu would quell the turtle. The huge pressure of the temple made the turtle shrink back to the riverside and could not move any more. Today, a rock in the shape of the turtle’s head can still be seen in the river.
More Folklore about Yangtze River:
Story about Water-Stealing Hole in Qutang Gorge
Stories of Mengliang Stairway and Iron Lock Pass
Legend of Goddess Peak of Twelve Peaks in Wu Gorge
Fragrance Stream, Peach Jellyfish and Wang Zhaojun
Story of Yellow Ox Gorge
Zhangfei Temple and Zhang Fei
Quyuan Temple, Qu Yuan, and Zongzi
Legends of White Emperor City
Story of Eight Elements Battle Formation