The Yellow Crane Tower (Huang He Lou) is located in the Yellow Crane Tower Subdistrict, Wuchang district, Wuhan, in central China. The current structure was built in 1981, but the tower has existed in various forms since no later than 223 AD.

It is believed that the first structure, located one kilometre away from its current position, was built a very long time ago. There is a legend explaining and surrounding its origin…

Once upon a time, there was a man named Xin who owned a small tavern. One day, in came a man in ragged dress asking for a bowl of wine. Mr. Xin, unlike most, did not despise the beggar for his shabby appearance, but instead offered him a large bowl of wine for free.

Over the next six months, day after day,  the man kept coming into the tavern asking for wine. And every time Mr. Xin would serve him without showing even a hint of annoyance.

One day, the man told Xin, “I owe you a lot of money, but I have no money to pay you with.” Then he took out an orange peel from his bag and painted a yellow crane on the wall with it.

“Just clap your hands when you have guests here, and the crane will begin to dance,” said the raggedy man. He clapped his hands and sang a song, and almost immediately the crane jumped off the wall and began to dance to the music.

Gradually, Xin’s pub became famous for  the dancing crane. Many visitors came to see the exceptional bird with their own eyes. Consequently, Mr Xin’s tavern was never empty and he became incredibly wealthy.

One day, the man returned, still in the ragged clothes as before. Mr. Xin thanked the man and offered to provide him with a living for the rest of his life. The man laughed and said, “That’s not the reason why I came here.”

Then, he took out a flute and began to play a tune. As he played his flute, the clouds descended from the sky, and a crane flew down towards them. The man climbed onto the back of the bird and flew up into the sky.

Yellow Crane Tower – the witness of a God riding the crane to ascend to heaven (Wikimedia Commons)

Mr. Xin believed that the man was a Daoist. So, as an expression of gratitude, Xin built a tower on the precise spot where the crane riding Dao ascended to the sky. It was named the Huang He Lou – which means “Yellow Crane Tower.”

Those who show selflessness towards other are rewarded in kind. A heart of generosity is a magnet for miracles.

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