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Fairy Bridge

Fairy Bridge

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Fairy Bridge might refer to several locations in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, on the Isle of Man
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

 or one on the Isle of Skye.

Builiu River, China


Fairy Bridge (Xian Ren Qiao) is a Natural Bridge
Natural Bridge
Natural bridge or Natural Bridge can refer to several things:*Natural arch, a land formation sometimes referred to as a natural bridge*Natural Bridge, Alabama*Natural Bridge, New York...

 over the Buliu River northwest of Fengshan in Guangxi Province
Guangxi
Guangxi, formerly romanized Kwangsi, is a province of southern China along its border with Vietnam. In 1958, it became the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, a region with special privileges created specifically for the Zhuang people.Guangxi's location, in...

, China. The arch has the greatest known span for a natural arch in the world.

Castletown Road


The "Fairy Bridge" better known to tourists, is that in the parish of Malew
Malew
Malew is a parish in the Isle of Man. It is in the sheading of Rushen together with the neighbouring parishes of Rushen and Arbory.Malew parish covers an area from Langness Peninsula and Scarlett up to Foxdale, and includes the villages of Ballasalla, St Mark's and Derbyhaven. The area includes...

 on the A5 road from Douglas
Douglas, Isle of Man
right|thumb|250px|Douglas Promenade, which runs nearly the entire length of beachfront in Douglasright|thumb|250px|Sea terminal in DouglasDouglas is the capital and largest town of the Isle of Man, with a population of 26,218 people . It is located at the mouth of the River Douglas, and a sweeping...

 to Castletown just below Ballalonna Bridge in Ballalonna Glen on the Santon Burn
Santon Burn
Santon Burn is a water course in the Isle of Man.This small river, or burn, has its origins in the waters of Eairy in the parish of Marown and enters the Irish Sea at Santon Gorge close to Cass-ny-Hawin Head and not far from the bay of Port SoldrickThe course of Santon Burn runs between the...

.54°06′52"N 4°35′43"W

A superstition is to greet the fairies (an English term for the Mooinjer Veggey
Mooinjer veggey
is the Manx for little people, a term used for fairies in Gaelic lore. The equivalent Irish is Muintir Bheaga.-Manx folklore:In Manx folklore, the are small creatures from two to three feet in height, otherwise very like mortals. They wear red caps and green jackets and are most often seen on...

; never called fairies or ferrish by the Manx and not of similar disposition to the English fairies) when crossing the fairy bridge; it is supposedly unlucky not to.

In the 1970s and 1980s is was reportedly the usual fashion to advise a visitor of the myth on the journey south from Douglas or North from the Airport, timing the story such that one was required to say "Good morning Fairies!" just as the teller and his guest(s) began crossing the Fairy Bridge. This would subsequently be repeated by the same or other tellers, leaving visitors perplexed as to the tellers' beliefs.

Like many local superstitions on the Isle of Man, the Fairy Bridge myth is changing with the influx of new residents. It has always been a whimsical practice, never taken too seriously by visitors, despite food writer A.A. Gill's repetition in London newspaper "The Times" of an urban myth that taxi drivers will stop if the passenger does not greet the fairies.

Motorcycle racers and spectators to the annual TT and Manx Grand Prix races tend to take the ritual seriously, in most cases making a point of visiting the bridge before setting up for practice and the races. In an example of confirmation bias
Confirmation bias
Confirmation bias is a tendency for people to favor information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses regardless of whether the information is true.David Perkins, a geneticist, coined the term "myside bias" referring to a preference for "my" side of an issue...

, mishaps and crashes are readily attributed to the fairies' displeasure; likewise lucky escapes.

It has been suggested that the location was on the boundaries of the land of the nearby Rushen Abbey
Rushen Abbey
Rushen Abbey was an abbey on the Isle of Man, located near Ballasalla. Originally home for monks of the Savignac order, it soon came under Cistercian control and remained so until its dissolution. The abbey is located two miles from Castle Rushen; the most important political entity on the island...

 and the greeting is a folk memory of crossing oneself at the sight of the crucifix
Crucifix
A crucifix is an independent image of Jesus on the cross with a representation of Jesus' body, referred to in English as the corpus , as distinct from a cross with no body....

 marking the boundary of the monastery's land. This superstition may possibly have arisen at this location during the 19th century in response to the large number of tourists visiting the Island.

Kewaigue



The now commonly-known '"Real" Fairy Bridge', shown as the 'Fairy Bridge' on old Ordnance Survey maps, is located in the parish of Braddan
Braddan
Braddan is an elongated parish in the sheading of Middle in the Isle of Man, stretching from the parishes of Michael and Lezayre in the north, bordering on the parishes of German, Marown and Onchan in the middle and bordering on Santon in the south....

 across the Middle River
Middle River, Isle of Man
The Middle River is a river in the parish of Braddan in the Isle of Man which runs from Colooneys Farm area on the Marown parish border down under the original Fairy Bridge to Oakhill where it makes a 90 degree turn north eastwards to run past the Pulrose Golf Club to join the River Douglas near...

 near to the footpath from Oakhill to Kewaigue
Kewaigue
Kewaigue is an area, hill and school near White Hoe in the parish of Braddan, near to Douglas, Isle of Man-Photographs:* - The famous Okells Brewery* - The new bridge and old "Snotty Bridge"....

.54°08′15"N 4°31′19"W

Isle of Skye


There is also a Fairy Bridge on the Isle of Skye. The location is said to mark the spot where a fairy princess said her last 'goodbye' to a chief
Scottish clan chief
The Scottish Gaelic word clann means children. In early times, and possibly even today, clan members believed themselves to descend from a common ancestor, the founder of the Scottish clan. From its perceived founder a clan takes its name. The clan chief is the representative of this founder, and...

 of Clan Macleod
Clan MacLeod
Clan MacLeod is a Highland Scottish clan associated with the Isle of Skye. There are two main branches of the clan: the Macleods of Harris and Dunvegan, whose chief is Macleod of Macleod, are known in Gaelic as Sìol Tormoid ; the Macleods of Lewis, whose chief is Macleod of The Lewes, are known in...

. The tradition concerns the Fairy Flag of Dunvegan
Fairy Flag
The Fairy Flag is an heirloom of the chiefs of Clan MacLeod. It is held in Dunvegan Castle along with other notable heirlooms, such as the Dunvegan Cup and Sir Rory Mor's Horn. The Fairy Flag is known for the numerous traditions of fairies, and magical properties associated with it...

.

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