2009年10月2日星期五

The Mid-Autumn Festival-The Moon Lady


First lady on the moon: It is generally conceded that Neil Armstrong , the American astronaut, was the first man on moon ( he made that historic landing in 1969). But that's not necessarily the truth to Chinese, who believe that the first people on the moon was a beautiful woman who lived during the Hsia dynasty (2205-1766BC)


The classic tale of Chang-Er, the beautiful moon goddess, is associated with the Mooncake Festival. Pictures of her in a flowy gown floating to the moon commonly adorn mooncake boxes.


This somewhat complicated moon-landing story goes like this: A woman , Chang-Er, was married to the divine archer Hou Yi, who shot nine out of 10 suns that were causing havoc. For his deed, the Queen Mother of the West gave him the elixir of life. Chang-Er stole her husband's potion of immortality, drank it and found herself floating to the moon. There she lives out her days in the cold lonely moon palace with a furry rabbit for companion.

A slightly different version says that Hou Yi was a tyrannical ruler. Chang-Er drank the magic potion to prevent him from becoming immortal.


Another myth tells of woodcutter Wu Gang who was banished to the moon and became Chang-Er's friend and servant. The Jade Emperor punished Wu Gang by ordering him to cut down a cassia tree. It was a task that could never be completed as the tree is immortal and would grow back each time it is felled.

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