Everlasting Spring

On September 6, 2011, in Historical Relics, Popular Provinces, Shanxi, Temples, by Jack Li

The source of Jinshui is inside Jinci Temple and there are in all three springs named Yuzhao Spring, Shanli Spring and Everlasting Spring. Sometimes the source of Yuzhao Spring and Shanli Spring is dried up while the Everlasting Spring never runs out of water. The water comes out from the rock 5 m deep down the ground with an average flow of 1.8 m3. The temperature of the spring keeps at 17℃ all year round. The name of the spring is from a famous sentence “never grow old” in The Book of Songs.

A folk story tells that once there was a girl called Liu in Jinsheng village 20 km away from Jinci Temple got married with a man in Gutang village, where the temple was located. Her mother-in-law was very mean to her and never let her visit her parental home. She was ordered to carry water to the house from afar. It took her a whole day to carry just two buckets of water, however, the evil mother-in-law only use one bucket and pour out the water in the other bucket so as to torture the poor girl. One day Liu met an old gentleman riding on a horse half way back home, and the man wanted to get some water from her to feed his horse. Without any hesitation, Liu said yes and give the water to the man, but to her surprise, the horse drank the water in both buckets. Then Liu faced an awkward dilemma, it was already at dusk now, so there was not enough time to carry another two buckets of water, but if she went back home empty-handed, the harsh old lady would surely call her names or even abuse her. At this moment, the old man gave Liu the horsewhip and told her if she put the horsewhip in the jar, water would come out immediately and fill the jar to the full. With these words the man disappeared. Liu got home and secretly used the whip as she was told to, and it turned out the man did tell the truth. Days after, the old lady felt quite curious about how Liu could make the jar full of water without going out. She asked her daughter to secretly keep a lookout over Liu and the girl came to know the existence of the magic horsewhip. The old lady intentionally allowed Liu went back to her parents’ home and then let her daughter imitate Liu’s trick; sadly, the water kept running all time and did not stop. They could do nothing but ask Liu for help. Liu tried to stop the water flow by sitting on the jar, but the water continues to come out incessantly for thousands of years. That’s how the story goes about the Everlasting Spring.

Jinci Temple

Jack Li

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