During the wall construction, soldiers had to stay on guard throughout the year without leaving their duty. This meant many didn’t get to see their families for a long time.
A father whose son, the only surviving family member, was guarding the wall couldn’t stand being apart from his son. So he set on a journey to find his son who was defending the Northern Territory of the wall. He managed to find his child, and they embraced happily.
They were both so happy and laughed so much they both collapsed and died on the spot. In memory of the loving father and his son, they named fortress where the two met the Happy Meeting Fortress (Xifeng Kou) and their burial place, the Xifeng Kou Pass.
King You’s beautiful wife Bao Si rarely smiled. To fix this he asked his court for ideas to make her smile but none of the ideas worked.
Beacon towers had been used as warning signals against enemy attacks and to summon help. Someone suggested setting the beacon tower on fire would frighten the King’s subjects. It was hoped that Bao Si would smile when she saw that so many soldiers were fooled.
King You liked the idea. The subjects were fooled and Bao Si smiled at the sight of the chaos. Later enemies invaded Western Zhou, King You set the beacon tower on fire to ask for help. No subjects came to help because they had been fooled once before. King Zhou was killed by the enemy and Western Zhou came to an end.
A workman named Yi Kaizhan, who was a proficient mathematician, calculated that it would need 99,999 bricks to build the Jiayuguan Pass. The supervisor did not believe him and said if they miscalculated by even one brick, then all the workmen would be punished to do hard labor for three years.
After the pass was built, one brick was left behind the Xiwong city gate. The supervisor was happy at the sight of the brick and ready to punish them. However Yi Kaizhan said with confidence that the brick was put there by a supernatural being to fix the wall. A tiny move would cause the collapse of the wall. Therefore the brick was kept there and never moved. It can still be found there today on the tower of the Jiayuguan Pass.
Construction of Huanghuacheng began in 1575. General Cai Kai was in charge of the entire works. The wall took many years to finish, and immediately after completion, the general went to the capital to update the emperor of the accomplishment.
Some jealous ministers had told the Emperor at that time the general had spent too much money and the construction of the wall was poor. The emperor immediately executed the general.
Later, the emperor realized that something was wrong. He carried out an investigation and found that the Great Wall built by the general was very steep and solid. Not one crack could be knocked out of the bricks and stones that had been reinforced with rice soup. Knowing that the project was of extremely high quality, the Emperor sent people to build a tomb and established a tablet in memory of General Cai Kai and wrote on a big rock under the Great Wall the "Metal Soup".
Meng Jiangnu’s story is the most famous and widely spread of all the legends about the Great Wall. Federal officials arrested a peasant by the name of Fan Qiliang, the husband of Meng Jiangnu, and forcefully sent him to build the wall.
Meng Jiangnu heard nothing from him after he left for the wall, so she set out to look for him. Unfortunately, by the time she reached the great wall, she discovered that her husband had already died. Hearing the bad news, she cried her heart out.
The legend claims Meng Jiangnu’s bitter weeping made a section of the Great Wall collapse.
If these myths and legends whet your appetite for more then check out the movie The Great Wall.
1700 years to build. 5500 miles long. What were they trying to keep out? Between courage and fear, between monsters and men, stands a wall that must never fall. The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a last stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure.
The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon, is out now on 4K Ultra HD, 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital.
Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment