|Wofeng Bridge 窝风桥 (Wōfēng Qiáo) was first built in 1706 under the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty. It was rebuilt in 1988 during one of the early waves of repair and restoration brought about by modernization. Wofeng means Wo, "hidden" or "cave" and Feng "wind". It is said that there is always a breeze at the bridge, even on the hottest day. Its position north of the Mountain Gate combined with the well under the bridge must magnify any change in air current brought about by the cooler air from the well hitting the warmer air above. Or perhaps it is a gift of the spirits.
It is traditional to try to hit the copper bells suspended in the middle of the large wooden replicas of ancient Chinese coins. If you can make the bell ring you will have good luck and fortune. The practice is called 打金钱眼 (dǎ jīnqián yǎn) "throwing the coin through the eye." As you can see, the tradition lives on; they keep a broom at the ready to gather the coins. It serves as a minor form of support for the monastery.
Last update: October 2009
© Marilyn Shea, 2009