Mooncake, festival and China's lunar mission

Updated: 2016-09-14 19:07

By Liu Wei(

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Mooncake, festival and China's lunar mission

A paper-cut work of the story Chang'e flying to the moon. [Photo/IC]

Click here for more art products about Chang'e

The myth about the moon

From ancient times, China has stories about the sky and the moon. The myths are so old that they can be found in many ancient classic poems.

It is said there were 10 suns in the sky that made people's lives hard. Houyi, a heroic and strong man, shot down nine of them and forced the last one to rise and fall on time, benefiting all the people.

He later married Chang'e and taught people archery for a living.

Once he acquired pills that could turn humans into god and give them eternal life from goddess Wangmuniangniang. But Houyi gave them to Chang'e to keep them as he didn't want to leave his beautiful kind wife.

However, one of his students found out about them and asked Chang'e to hand them over when Houyi was out.

Chang'e had no option but to swallow the pills. She suddenly started floating up until she reached the moon.

Houyi came back home and heard the story from the maids. He was saddened but couldn't do anything. He missed his wife so much that he asked his maids to display fresh fruits and cakes that Chang'e loved on the table in the garden in her memory.

Many people began setting tables and offerings wishing luck from Chang'e after they heard that she had turned into a goddess on the moon.

Chang'e lived on the moon, accompanied by a rabbit, white as jade, who kept making medicine that could make humans immortal.

The offering ceremony has been widely spread among people, becoming a well-known Chinese festival--Mid Autumn Festival.

The interesting thing is that we can now understand many names of China's space equipment: Shenzhou, Tiangong, Chang'e and Yutu--they are all heavily associated with China's myths about the sky and moon.