Ever since man lived in the first caves, storytelling has been a part of life. To a great degree, man has always been social as they gathered in a circle, enjoying the heat of the first fires. Stories, legends, and tales kept the imagination of the ancient man occupied. Over the years, people added details that made the stories more relatable, entertaining, and more memorable.
Compiled below are seven of the most entertaining and lesson-filled legends you can ever read. Each section is divided into two sections, with the first providing a summary and the second giving tips on how to appreciate the legends in real life best.
The Legend of Lady Godiva
This legend originated from Coventry, England, and as the story goes, Lady Godiva was tired of the taxes his husband, the Earl of Mercia, imposed on the poor peasants. Many of whom had to pay exorbitant taxes up to the point they have to obtain personal loans. Lady Godiva asked the Earl to reduce or remove the tariffs, but the greedy nobleman said he would only do so if the good Lady rides a horse through Coventry naked. Determined, Lady Godiva did ride through the town, but she warned everyone to lock up and shut their windows before doing it. A man, now known as Peeping Tom, was the only casualty as he could not resist and took a peep. He became blind the instant he saw Lady Godiva.
For those who ever travel to England, you can go to Coventry and see Lady Godiva’s statue. There is also an annual Coventry Godiva Festival where people gather to enjoy music, food, and stories about the famous Lady.
The Legend of King Arthur
Perhaps the most famous of all the legends, the story of King Arthur goes back to ancient times. King Arthur was the head of Camelot, and he went on adventures, along with the Knights of the Round Table. Most historians agree that if King Arthur was ever real, he probably was a Roman military officer who saved Britain from Saxon forces between the fifth and sixth centuries AD.
Those who love this legend to a great degree would benefit from visiting England, which is said to be the place where he established his kingdom. Other places of interest are Snowdonia National Park in Wales, King Arthur’s Labyrinth, still in Wales, and the Great Halls in Tintagel.
The Legend of the Yamashita Treasure
Stories passed from one generation to another say that General Tomoyuki Yamashita gave orders to construct an underground tunnel that would house the gold they have looted from China and Southeast Asia, which was after they retreated to the Sierra Madre mountains in the Philippines during the height of World War II. Legends say that the construction crew was left inside the tunnel until they passed away to keep the location secret. If ever found, it would be a massive amount of investment money, but General Yamashita took it to his grave after a military court sentenced him.
Many experts have already debunked the existence of the gold, but there is no harm in exploring the Sierra Madre in the Philippines and other possible locations where it could have been buried.
The Legend of the Fountain of Youth
Juan Ponce de León, a famed Spanish explorer, headed an expedition to search for the Fountain of Youth. He believed it existed in the present-day St. Augustine, Florida, but even with his great degree of effort, he was never able to find it.
Those who are a tad curious can explore Ponce de León’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park to find out more.
The Legend of the Miraculous Monk
Luang Pu Thuat is a revered monk who was born in Thailand back in 1582. He allegedly had powers, as a snake did not bite him despite him sleeping and the snake wrapped around him, ready to pounce. The monk has been given credit for many miracles, as well.
Going to Thailand and exploring the Buddhist temple Wat Huay Mongkol would be a great way of knowing more about his “miraculous” works.
The Legend of the Lost Sailor
Legends say that a shipwrecked sailor found himself in the Island of the Soul in Egypt, where he met and befriended a snake who told him that he would be rescued in four months on that island. True to the prediction, a ship indeed arrived. Before leaving, the serpent gave him incense, spices, and other gifts and told him to put in a good word for the serpent once he goes back to his town.
This story is written on ancient papyrus, and that piece of text can be found in The State Hermitage Museum in Russia (sorry, not Egypt). So, while it would mean spending a bit more of your investment, it will definitely be worth the trip.
The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac
There are two versions to this, but the more interesting one is that the Jade Emperor in China held a contest to determine which order the animals would be put in the Zodiac calendar. The rat came first, with the pig making it to the last place. Their race took place in the Yangtze River.
Exploring China’s Yangtze River would be good. However, many others on a budget have given credit to visiting Chinatown as a culturally enriching experience.