Legends of Jinma and Biji


Legend goes that there was a glittering god horse in the mirror-like Dianchi Lake. Horses mating with the god horse would give birth to powerful “Dianchi Foal” that can travel for 500 li in a single day. The god horse usually hided in the pine forests in the east of Kunming. When it appeared, it added luster to the forests. In the jade-like Mount Xishan, there was a phoenix like a jade that sang songs pleasant to the ears. When the phoenix unfolded its wings, the colorful features were dazzling. The local people didn’t know that it was phoenix and called it Biji (Jade Rooster). Later, people call Mount Dongshan where the golden horse lived “Jinma Mountain” (Golden Horse Mountain) and Mount Xishan where the phoenix unfolded its wings “Biji Mountain” (Jade Rooster Mountain). The two temples of “Jinma” and “Biji” were built on the two mountains to offer sacrifice to the golden horse and the phoenix respectively. Afterwards, the two towering archways of “Jinma” and “Biji” were built in Kunming City, and the street where the two archways stand was called Jinbi Road. People also built the two passes of “Jinma” and “Biji” in the east and west of Kunming city as the entrances. Legend also goes that there are foot marks of dragons and horses on the rocks in Jinning and Anning. Jinma and Biji are frequently chanted by poets. Zuo Si, a famous verse writer of the Wei and Jin Dynasty, wrote the famous verse “Shu Capital Song”. That shows that the legend of Jinma and Biji was publicized in middle China 1,700 years ago. For more than 1,000 years, Jinma and Biji have become the symbols and marks of Kunming.