Longxugou tells its dragon stories

2016-10-28 17:09 千龙网

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Longxugou or Dragon Beard Ditch is located in the Xicheng District. It was a slum where humble working people resided before the founding the People’s Republic of China.

There was a single arch marble bridge which Emperors in the Ming and Qing dynasties had to pass through to get to the Temple of Heaven when they worshiped the god. So it was also called Heaven Bridge. And it was believed the water in the time was clear.



Longxugou in 2015[Photo/Qianlong] 

There are many stories about Longxugou.

One of them writes: Thanks to Beijing as the capital of both Ming and Qing dynasties, the living place of the emperors who regarded themselves as the sons of the dragon, the ditch was thus called the dragon beard ditch. At first sight, it looks like reasonable that naming a place after the token of the emperor. But the story is less justified or all places in Beijing should have had been named after a dragon. But the fact is not.

Jintaishuyuan, an ancient academy [Photo /Qianlong]

There is a popular saying among Beijingers: “Golden fish pond was before the Longxugou.” The saying originates from a tale.

One day, a little girl living in the nearby Moujiajing Hutong caught a golden fish in a pond, but she felt sorry so she let it go. Unexpectedly, the fish was a magic incarnation of dragon king’s third daughter in the East Sea. In order to pay back, she gave the girl a magic calabash that she stole from the stomach of a stone lion in front of the Jintaishuyuan Academy. With the calabash, the girl was able to get whatever she wanted, and her family was no longer poor.

Then the emperor came to demand the calabash as soon as he heard of it. The girl was not willing to give it the emperor, so she ran. The emperor ran after the girl but accidentally fell into a ditch. When he climbed out from the ditch, he found his beard was gone. Since the emperor is the son of the dragon, his beard is thus dragon beard, then, the ditch was named Longxugou or Dragon Beard Ditch.

It is interesting but definitely a bedtime story.

Like many place names in Beijing, the name, Longxugou is gotten by mispronouncing. The Longxugou was actually called Longxigou named after Longxi Temple in east side of the current north end of the Puhuangyu Road.

Xiaoniuzi, a typical artistic character who lived in the Longxugou slum suffered a lot in the old China. The only happiness in her childhood was a tank of golden fish. The neighborhood had her sculpture rebuilt in 2004 to witness the dramatic change of the life here. [Photo/Qianlong]

Longxugou or Dragon Beard Ditch is well known by Chinese people for a drama of the same name Longxu Slum (Longxugou, 1951)--Written by Lao She (1899-1966) in 1953, this modern drama was the first full-length play produced by the Beijing People's Art Theater. Known as a milestone in the development of realistic drama in modern China, it contrasts the lives of residents in a Beijing gully called Longxugou before and after the founding of the People's Republic in 1949.

Longxugou in 2015[Photo/Qianlong] 

Longxugou in 2015[Photo/Qianlong] 

Longxugou in 2015[Photo/Qianlong] 

责任编辑:Sun Chi(QN0019)