Three Legends About the Mid-Autumn Festival (Which one you’ve heard before?)

The Story of Chang Er & Hou Yi (the most popular legend of all three)

In the distant past, there lived a renown archer with superhuman strength named Hou Yi. At that time, there were ten scorching suns in the sky and the people were living in agony. Hou Yi climbed to the peak of mount Kun Lun & shot down nine of the suns, leaving only one sun. The immortal Heaven Queen of the West gave Hou Yi an Elixir of Immortality as reward, which Hou Yi entrusted it to his wife, Chang Er. However, one of Hou Yi’s disciple tried to steal the elixir. Chang Er tried to stop him and without choice, she swallowed the elixir herself. She then turned immortal & became weightless and float to the moon. The heart-stricken Hou Yi then put Chang Er’s favourite food – moon cakes on the table under the moon, wishing her would come back.

The Story of Wu Gang

There was a woodcutter named Wu Gang, who was obsessed with gaining immorality and heavenly magic. But he was not serious in learning, thus angered the Emperor of Heaven and then got banished to the moon. In order to punish him, the Emperor of Heaven ordered him to cut down a huge cherry bay tree on the moon. But the cherry bay tree would heal every time Wu Gang chopped it. Thus the punishment is actually endless repeating labour.

The Jade Rabbit

Legend has it that there were once three immortals, disguised as beggars, went through the forest asking for food. They met a monkey, a fox and a rabbit. The monkey and fox offered them something to eat. But the rabbit, who has no food to offer, offer its own meat instead. The three immortals were moved by the rabbit and decided to bring the rabbit to the Moon Palace. The rabbit was said to then accompanying Chang Er, mashing herbs to make elixir.
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