The Story of Meng Jiangnu is one of the most widespread and famous legend about the Great Wall of China. It is a heart-breaking tragic story that talks about the separation of Meng Jiangnu and her husband for building the Great Wall.
This story happened during Qin Dynasty
(221BC-206BC). Once there was an old man living in Meng Jia Zhuang. He grew gourds in his courtyard, one of the gourd tree extended to his neighbor Jian’s house, so they decide to separate the gourd on the tree. But when they opened the gourd, they found a baby girl sit in gourd, very lovely. Both of the two families wanted to raise the girl. And then they made a degree to raise the girl together, and called the girl Meng Jiangnu.
The girl grew up day by day. She was ingenuity and very beautiful. One day, in her back garden, she found a tired young man. The man’s name was Fan xiliang. At that time, King Qin Shi Huang
requisitioned many young to build the Great Wall. Fan ran and escaped. He came into Meng’s garden because he was too hungry and thirsty.
Meng Jiangnu found Fan xiliang was a educated and honest man, and she fell in love with the young man. She told father that she want to marry Fan. Fan first declined and thought his escaping case might involve Meng Jiangnu., but Meng Jiangnu did not change her mind and would marry no one but Fan. Fan agreed. Unfortunately, a local bully who also loved Meng Jiangnu was so jealous and he told the secret of Fan to the local fiefdom. They officers took Fan away in the third day after they married.
Meng Jiangnu would not gave up her husband, so she walked thousands miles to the foot of the Great Wall. One of the labors told her that her husband dead and was buried under the Great Wall. He leaded her to the section where her husband was buried. The section of the Great Wall that was toppled by Meng and the nearby Bohai Sea where she committed suicide are in today's Zibo City, Shandong Province. Meng Jiangnu was so angry and heart-breaking. She was crying under the Great Wall for three days and three nights without stopping. Suddenly with a tremendous noise, a 400 kilometer-long (248-mile-long) section of the Great Wall collapsed over her bitter wail. And she found the corpse of her husband.
King Qing Shi Hung heard this and wanted to punish Meng Jiangnu. But when he saw the beautiful woman, he changed his mind and asked Meng to marry him. Meng was so angry, but she suppressed the feeling and agreed on 3 conditions: The first was to find the body of Fan Qiliang, the second was to hold a state funeral for him, and the last one was to have Emperor Qin Shihuang wear black mourning for Fan Qiliang and attend the funeral in person. The King agreed reluctantly. After all the conditions were met, the King wanted Meng to come to his palace with him. Meng Jiangnu suddenly jumped in to the sea with her husband’s skeleton.
People built a temple “Temple of Meng Jiangnu” in memory of the brave and beautiful woman. It is at the foot of the Great Wall. In this legend, Meng Jiangnu embodied the kindness and courage of ancient woman. The legend also reflects the torture brought by war on the ancient people. Meng Jiangnu's story has been passed down from generation to generation.