At Shipu and Changguo of Xiangshan County, there is a custom in which everyone goes for a walk along the beach outside of Changguo East Gate, or cook sea snails they picked up on March 3rd in Lunar Calendar. There is a story behind it.
Legend has it that in ancient times, a giant turtle lived in a village of Changguo, which often caused flood sweeping over houses, people and livestock, making people’s life there destitute. At that time, nine dragons lived in that area, and they were so outrageous that they were determined to kill the turtle.
One day when the turtle once again stirred high waves to flood the village, these dragons flew to the beach after hearing crying from people in startled chaos. Knowing that it was the turtle that caused so many disturbances, they blamed it by saying: “You evil spirit, scourge of people, we must bring you to Jade Emperor!”The turtle didn’t subdue. Instead, their bickering evolved into a long-standing fight that lasted 81 days. At the end of the day, both sides were too exhausted to even make a move, but the smallest dragon still got some strengths and it strangled the turtle. As a result, waves and tides faded away. The turtle sank deep down into the sand and the small dragon turned into a sand embankment.
As a way of honoring the dragons, on the 3rd March, when the nine dragons and the turtle picked up the fight, people went to the sand beach in threes and fours. And this has become a local custom.