Shrine of Elder LÜ (Hebei)

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Also named the Golden Millet Dream ( 黃粱夢Huangliang Meng ), the Shrine of Elder Lü( 呂翁祠LU Weng Ci ); is located at Golden Millet Dream Town, 10 kilometers north of Handan City, Hebei. According to the Precious and Secret Tales ( 《枕中記》Zhenzhong Ji ), a Young scholar named Lu stayed in a small hotel north of Handan on his way to the Capital to take the civil service examination. His head resting on a celadon pillow which Daoist priest Elder Lü had lent him, Lu had a delightful dream. In the dream, he married a beauty from a noble family, easily obtained high official posts and gave birth to five sons also reaching high official posts. Having enjoyed all the riches and honors, he died well in his 80s. Seeing Elder Lü smiling beside him, Lu awoke to find only the pot of millet for him still cooking on the fire, and he followed the Daoist away. From this story come the two phrases “Golden Millet Dream” and “Golden Millet by a Pillow”. According to legend, the Elder Lü was Lù Dongbin, one of the famous Eight Immortals. In the Song dynasty, people built Shrines of Elder Lü here and rebuilt and extended the temple in the Ming and Qing.

In a large space occupying over 10,000 m2, the Shrine of Elder Lü is composed of main construction such as the Front Courtyard, the Pavilion of the Eight Immortals, the Elixir Chamber, the Hall of Immortal Zhongli, the Hall of Patriarch Lü and the Hall of Young Scholar Lu. On a black screen wall in the south of the Front courtyard, four stone-carved Chinese characters saying “Wonderland of Penglai” exhibit powerful calligraphy. In a pond of thousands of square meters, lotus blossoms of every color beautify the world every summer. In the pond stands the Trigram Pavilion, an exquisite all-wood construction connected by small bridges at two ends.

In the tourist center, the Hall of Young Scholar Lu, a statue of Lu lies in a bed carved as whole with Lu from a block of bluestone. In the stone bed of 1 meter in height and 1.7 meter in length, Lu lies by his side with his head on a square pillow. His legs slightly bent, handsome Lu looks drowsy with his eyes closed. Besides this vivid sculpture, there is on the north wall a fresco depicting the same story.

Every 11th day of the 4th lunar month, the Shrine of Elder Lü hold a Patriarch Lü temple fair bustling with all kinds of activities.