Legend of Ghost Festival

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It is said that a long time ago, there was a small Chuang Tzu on the east side of xiapihe river. Shi and her daughter-in-law orchid lived in the three huts at the head of the Chuang Tzu. Orchid was eighteen or nine years old. The year she first married, her father-in-law died while cutting firewood in the mountain. Then her husband died, leaving only two widows in the family. Shi Shi could not stand the blow and fell ill in bed. It happened that spring drought and autumn floods happened that year, and there was no harvest. The only food in the family was sold, but it was not enough to raise money to see Shi’s doctor. Orchids had to go out to beg every day. If they wanted to have a dry mouth, they would leave it to their mother-in-law. They only drank some thin soup to satisfy their hunger.

In a year of great disaster, food is hard to get. On this day, from early morning to noon, orchids only need half a piece of bran vegetable cake and half a bowl of wild vegetable soup. She wanted to go home and wait for her mother-in-law to take medicine and eat, but she was too hungry to take a step, so she wanted to drink the potherb soup first. As soon as I opened my mouth, I heard a faint moan. I saw a thin old woman leaning against a tree by the roadside. The old woman trembled and said, “girl, I’ve been hungry for three days. Can you…”

Orchid was kind-hearted. She hurried to grandma and brought the soup to her mouth. The old woman took the bowl, drank up the soup in a few bites, licked the bowl and said, “if I could eat some dry food again, I might be able to walk with strength…” orchid touched the half of the bran vegetable cake in her arms, hesitated for a moment, and thought that she would go to order something for her mother-in-law later, and take the cake first to save people.

Orchid took out the vegetable cake from her arms and handed it to grandma. The old woman took it, swallowed it in three bites and almost choked. The old lady took a rest and said, “girl, thanks to you for saving my life today, I don’t know what to do next after eating this meal. Alas, sooner or later, I won’t starve to death! Girl, thank you, you go now…” before she finished, the old lady was full of tears.

Orchid heard the old woman say so. Her heart ached and she began to cry. After thinking for a while, she immediately had an idea and said to the old woman, “madam, I have no mother since I was a child. Now I live with my mother-in-law at home. It’s better for me to recognize you as the godmother. You go back with me and be a maid of honor with my mother-in-law. Anyway, I have one mother to serve, and two women to serve. After that, orchid has two mothers in pain!” The old woman took the orchid by the hand and said, “son, in this year of great disaster, are you not afraid of many burdens?” “I’ll just hurry up and beg for food. Godmother, wait for me while I go to Dongzhuang to order food for my mother-in-law.”

After a while, the orchid came back from begging and went home with her godmother. Shi Shi was very happy to see that orchids brought her a companion to talk with. But with more people, life is harder. Every day before dawn, orchid leaves the village with a begging basket. She travels from East Village to West Village. She has to run dozens of miles a day. When she comes home, she has to serve her mother-in-law and godmother, and she has to wash and sew.

As the days went by, the two old people gradually recovered under the care of orchids. But the orchids are hungry and their health is getting worse day by day.

That night, after the orchid waited for Shi Shi to sleep, the godmother waved the orchid to the courtyard and said, “orchid, I have been at your house for 3721 days, and my virtue has been perfect. To tell you the truth, I was the fairy crane maid in front of Guanyin, who came to check Xiaoshan before the decree of Guanyin Bodhisattva. You are the person I am looking for. I give you the stone of” respond to every request. ” When she said that she stretched out her hand, she saw a green stone board with a palm length and three fingers wide on her palm. She then said: “although it is small, as long as you say ‘please help the poor’, it can immediately become wider and longer. What you want is what you need. Remember, you can only know about this stone board. If you say it, you will soon die!” With that, he turned into a crane and flew away.

Orchid came to her room with a slate in her hand. She put the slate on the ground, folded her hands, and said to the slate, “please help me…” before the words fell, she saw a flash of gold, and the small slate “Shua” grew to six feet long and three feet wide. Orchid said, “please give me food and cloth.” After a burst of golden light, the slate was indeed full of grain, grain and cloth.

The next day, when the orchids brought the delicious food and the new clothes made overnight to Shi Shi’s eyes, Shi asked suspiciously, “where did all this come from? And where was my old sister?” Orchid said: “last night, ganniang’s younger brother came and took ganniang home overnight. Ganniang’s younger brother was very rich, but he had been doing business outside. Seeing that I was kind to ganniang, he sent me a lot of money, food and cloth, and said he would help the neighbors more.”

Placating Shi Shi, orchid sent food, money and other items to the villagers door to door, and told the villagers: “if you have any difficulties, just ask me. My uncle asked me to do meritorious deeds for him.” This story spread from one story to another. When the poor people within a hundred miles heard about the orchid bulk food, they all crowded to the orchid’s door and lined up in a long line. From morning till night, orchid is too busy to eat. She takes whatever people want from the house. People say that orchid is a living Bodhisattva who saves lives.

Seeing that poor villagers have food and clothes, orchids are sweeter than honey. When people are happy, and they don’t have to go out to beg, the orchids gradually become beautiful. Their hair is like dark clouds, their eyebrows are like the crescent moon, their waist is like willows, and their faces are like peach blossoms.

There was a rich man named Hulin. He had heard that orchids were sending food and goods to the poor. Now he saw that orchids have become so beautiful. He asked a matchmaker to propose marriage for many times and wanted to take orchids as his concubine. However, his mother-in-law and daughter-in-law all refused.

When Hu Lin saw that Lan Hua’s mother-in-law and daughter-in-law were unmoved, he had a bad idea. He paid money to buy a Taoist priest in the Jianghu. He told people everywhere that the orchids were transformed by goblins. The food and money she gave were all a cover up. She wanted to wait for people to eat in vain, so that they could drink human blood and eat human hearts.





At first, the villagers didn’t listen to the Taoist’s nonsense at all. Gradually, they listened more and became suspicious. One night, Shi accidentally saw orchids kneeling in front of a large stone slab and saying something. After a burst of golden light, the stone slab was full of grain, grains, etc.

“Oh, my God! The orchid is really a fairy!” My mother-in-law was so scared that she broke out in a cold sweat that she didn’t dare to sleep in her house all night.

The next day, Shi came to Hu Lin’s house with a cane and said to him, “rich Hu, I am willing to marry you orchids as a concubine. Go and pick her up quickly!” Hu Lin was so happy that he immediately took people to orchid’s house to get married.

Orchid saw Hu Lin coming, followed by Shi Shi. She knew her mother-in-law was suspicious of her, but she couldn’t tell her mother-in-law the truth. She refused to get on the sedan chair, and Hu Lin grabbed it. At this time, the villagers heard the cries of orchids and gathered around, but no one stopped them. They were afraid that orchids were really demons.

Orchid had no choice but to shove away the person holding her, Crying loudly: “My mother! Fellow villagers! You have all been fooled by Hu Lin. to tell you the truth, the old lady I took home last time was changed by a crane. Seeing that our people were in trouble, Guanyin asked her to give me a stone slab, and asked me to ask for food and things from the stone slab and give them to the villagers. But she told me not to tell the story. Once a second person knew about it, I would die! But I was not afraid of death. I was afraid that once I died, no one would give food and things to the villagers again No one will honor her mother-in-law any more… “He said, taking out a small slate to show the people,” this is the slate that Guanyin Bodhisattva asked the crane to give me. I…… “before he finished, the orchid fell to the ground and died.

At this moment, a strong wind suddenly blew and sand flew away. The small stone plate flew out of the orchid’s hand and became sixorseven feet long and more than three feet wide. It hit Hu Lin and the Taoist severely. Hu Lin and the Taoist were killed. The wind blew harder and harder. At the place where the orchid fell, the wind blew the earth and rock into a big grave, and the big stone slab was firmly erected in front of the orchid’s grave. At this time, the wind stopped, and snow fell in the sky. Soon, the whole world was white. Regretting and hating, Shi rushed to the orchid’s grave and cried, “my good daughter-in-law, I hurt you! Now it’s just July 15, and it’s snowing heavily. You died unjustly!” At this time, all the villagers and neighbors repented and knelt down in front of the orchid grave to cry and repent. At this time, several crane cries came from the sky. Everyone looked up and saw that the orchids in the clouds were flying west on the crane’s back.

In order to commemorate the orchid, on July 15 every year, people would rush to the orchid grave from all directions to worship her. Those who have received orchid grain will use the grain to make cakes and put them in front of the orchid grave; Those who had received money and goods made gold and silver ingots of paper and burned them to orchids; Some people said that orchid was lonely alone, so they used paper to tie it into a virgin, a cow, a sheep, a chicken, etc. and burned it to her.

Later, people designated July 15 as “ghost day”. The custom of commemorating orchids has been handed down to this day, but with the passage of time, these customs are also changing.




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