The Qiantang River (钱塘江) and the Hangzhou Bay are known for the world’s largest tidal bore. The oldest known tide table (AD 1056) is for the Qiantang River and may have aided ancient tourists wishing to see the famous tidal bore. The tide rushing into the river mouth from the bay causes a bore which can reach up to 9 metres (30 ft) in height, and travel at up to 40 km per hour (25 miles an hour). Known locally as the Silver (or Black) Dragon, the wave sweeps past Hangzhou, menacing shipping in the harbor.

The tide is caused by the tide generating force of moon and sun. When the tide approaches, the extraordinary tide water sounds like a thousand horses running at a tremendous speed.

Suppressing Dragon King

In folklore, there is a legend more close to the peoples’ life. The story is tied with the Liuhe pagoda, also called Six Harmonious Pagoda. In ancient time, the God of Qiantang River, Dragon King, was very fierce and brutal who always brought rainstorms and billowede farmlands nearby.

This infuriated locals. What’s worse, because of the big wave, Liuhe’s parents were swept away when fishing on the boat. Liuhe was so angry and distressed that he threw stones into the river to calm it down. Finally, Liuhe’s behavior result in the submission of the Dragon King.

Soul of Zixu Wu

In Spring and Autumn period in ancient China, there was territorial dispute between Wu State and Yue State. In order to recruit talent and wise people to govern the state better, Emperor He Luentrust Zixu Wu. Later Fu Chai (夫差) was recommended by Zixu Wu and became the king of Wu State.

But the new King Fu Chai didn’t trust in Wu Zixu and thought Zixu an enormous threat. So he killed Zixu because of his suspicion. Before the execution, Wu Zixu asked for hanging his head on the city wall of state to see the overturn of Wu State and throwing his body into Qiantang River. It became the angry tide wave against the ridiculous behavior of King Fu Chai.

King Qian Shoots the Tide

During the period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms, fights and wars were frequent. There was a state called Wu Yue, which was governed by Qian Liu. Instead of involving in the war, King Qian Liu led his people to build water conservancy and construct the city wall and moat.

During the construction of Qiantang River embankment, it was always destroyed by the tide wave. The attendants said that it was the God of Tide making the trouble. The 18th day of August 18th on Chinese lunar calender) was the birthday of the God of Tide, Qian Liu led over ten thousands archers to shoot the tide. Then the tide ran out and the embankment was completed finally.