When: 15th Day of Eight Lunar Month
The central legend associated with Mid-Autumn Festival concerns the goddess Chang’e. This tale tells of how, long ago, the Earth had 10 suns, the heat of which ravaged the world with a terrible drought.
At the request of the Emperor of Heaven, the great archer Hou Yi shot down nine of the suns, saving life on Earth. As a reward for this feat, Hou Yi was given the elixir of immortality, which he hid in his home, planning to share it with his beautiful wife, Chang Er.
But while Hou Yi was away hunting, his wicked apprentice, Feng Meng, came to his home to steal the elixir. Chang Er, determined to keep it out of Feng’s hands, drank the potion and ascended to the heavens, where she took the moon as her home.
Chang E Flying to the Moon is the most widely told Mid-Autumn Festival legend. It is said that in ancient times, ten suns existed in the sky and the extreme heat made people’s lives very difficult. It was the hero Hou Yi, who, using his great strength, shot down nine of the ten suns. Later, Hou Yi married a beautiful and kind-hearted woman named Chang E and lived a happy life.
One day, the Queen of Heaven presented Hou Yi an elixir which, if took, would help him to ascend immediately to heaven and become a god. Hou Yi took it home and asked Chang E to keep it. Unfortunately, a villain named Pengmeng got to know this, broke into their home and demanded Chang E hand over the elixir while Hou Yi was out hunting. In a moment of desperation, Chang E swallowed the elixir. Reluctant to leave his husband, Cheng E tried her best to fly to the moon, the nearest place to the earth in heaven. Houyi missed Chang E a lot, so on the day of the full moon he placed on tables foods that Chang E liked. This custom was later followed by folk people praying to the Goddess Chang E for good luckand gradually formed the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Chang Er (嫦娥) is the Chinese goddess of the moon, best known for drinking an elixir of immortality from her husband, Hou Yi. Her story is celebrated as part of the annual Mid-Autumn Festival.
Jade Rabbit is often portrayed as a companion of Chang Er in the Moon Palace.
It is said that in ancient times, ten suns existed in the sky and the extreme heat made people’s lives very difficult. It was the hero Hou Yi, who, using his great strength, shot down nine of the ten suns. Later, Hou Yi married a beautiful and kind-hearted woman named Chang Er and lived a happy life.