IT RINGS TO TELL A TALE
The story of Beijing's Bell Tower is popular, but if you are new to the city (or have not heard it), then we are here to tell. During the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Zhu Di ordered the construction of a gigantic bell that could be heard from miles away. The artisans could not manage to make a bell of such stature even three years after it had been commissioned. The angry Emperor gave a dictum stating that if the bell was not completed within 80 days, all the artisans were to be beheaded. Days passed yet the furnace temperature could not be raised high enough to cast iron of that size. On the final day when all the artisans were scared of the inevitable, all of a sudden the daughter of the head artisan threw herself into the fire. Her father could not save her but only managed to grab hold of one of her embroidered shoes. It is said that her final sacrifice lit the fire to the exact heat required for the task and thus the bell was finally complete. People say that the bell rings with a sound like “Xie Xie…
Xie Xie” which sounds like “thank you” or “shoe” in Chinese. Maybe the poor girl is still asking for her shoe or thanking the city for remembering her.