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Friday, December 19, 2014

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Lijiang, China

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain consists of 13 jagged peaks that might be more aptly called dragon teeth.  It is true there is snow on it, as it is the southern most glacier in the Northern Hemisphere.

Like much of the impressive mountain landscapes that I saw when I was in China Jade Dragon Snow Mountain was under ocean and it was during the last 600 thousand years that the different landscapes had come into being because of the uprising of the lithosphere. That is the naturalist part of the story.  Better yet is the legend.

The story about this mysterious and beautiful place goes like this: Once upon a time, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Haba Snow Mountain were twins. They had lived on panning in Golden Sand River until one day an evil fiend usurped the river. The brothers were very brave and had a fierce fight with the fiend, Haba died in the fight and Jade Dragon drove off the fiend after wearing out 13 swords. For guarding the people and preventing the return of the fiend, Jade Dragon held the 13 swords in hands day and night. As time passed, the brothers had turned into the two snow mountains, and the 13 swords had become the 13 peaks. The mountain is a holy place for the local Naxi people not only because of the legend, but also because long time ago, it was a place for young lovers to sacrifice their young lives in honor of true love and to escape from the arranged marriages and feudal ethics.

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