3 sacred myths behind the Mid-Autumn Festival

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Mooncakes are traditional Chinese pastries commonly enjoyed during the Mid-Autumn Festival. (Freepik pic)

As soon as advertisements for mooncakes start popping up on your Facebook feed, you know the Mid-Autumn Festival is right around the corner.

This festival has been celebrated for millennia now, and like any other festival, it has its fair share of myths tied to it.

Here are just three of the more popular ones:

1. The sacrifice of Chang’e

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today The moon goddess Chang’e, depicted on this elaborate lantern, is often seen on the traditional packaging of mooncakes. (Pixabay pic)

In the distant past, the Divine Archer, Hou Yi shot down nine out of ten suns, which were turning the world into a hot, barren wasteland.

Hou Yi and his wife, Chang’e, were then cast out of heaven, for the slain suns were actually the Jade Emperor’s unruly sons.

Left to wander the earth, the formerly divine couple fretted over their newfound mortality and so, Hou Yi travelled far west to seek help from the Queen Mother of the West.

She was sympathetic, and gifted him with an Elixir of Immortality, but warned him that the elixir was enough for one person only.

As neither Hou Yi nor Chang’e were willing to the other behind, they collectively decided to leave the elixir alone.

For a time, the couple grew used to mortal life, with Hou Yi becoming a hunter and Chang’e a homemaker.

One day, however, Feng Meng, Hou Yi’s apprentice, came to learn of the elixir and when Hou Yi was away, he broke into his home and attacked Chang’e, demanding to know the whereabouts of the elixir.

Realising that she was the only one who could stop the cruel Feng Meng from becoming a god, Chang’e sacrificed herself by drinking it herself.

With her divinity restored, she had saved herself and the world, but could no longer live on earth with Hou Yi.

Instead of returning to heaven, she made the moon her new home instead, to be as close as possible to her beloved.

In return, for the rest of his mortal life, Hou Yi would leave sacrifices of food for his wife, a tradition that would eventually give birth to mooncakes.

Chang’e remains a popular figure in Chinese mythology, with her appearance often featured on mooncake packaging. China’s lunar rovers are often named after her.

2. The Jade Rabbit’s selflessness

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today According to myth, the Jade Rabbit was granted immortality due to her selfless sacrifice. (Pixabay pic)

Alongside Chang’e, a rabbit is often featured on the packaging of mooncakes, and this is none other than the Jade Rabbit.

The story goes that long ago, the Jade Emperor wanted to see for himself the virtue of the animals on earth.

Disguising himself as a hermit, he descended to the mortal realm and found himself in a forest, where a fox, a monkey and a rabbit lived.

Asked to help the supposed hermit, the animals went their separate ways, with the fox catching a fish and the monkey plucking some fruit from the forest.

The rabbit, due to her size and demeanour, was unable to return with anything to give the hermit, a fact she was ashamed of.

After asking the fox and the monkey to fetch her some firewood, the rabbit lit a fire and told the hermit that since she could not help him like the others did, he could eat her instead.

As her body burnt in the fire, the impressed Jade Emperor finally revealed himself and expressed his admiration of her.

To recognise her sacrifice, he decided to resurrect her and place her on the moon, where mankind could admire her for all eternity.

The darkened spots on the moon are thus said to resemble the shape of the Jade Rabbit busy with a mortar and pestle, perhaps helping Chang’e out with her chores.

3. Wu Gang, the Chinese Sisyphus

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Dark shadows on the moon sometimes resemble that of a man chopping down a tree. (Pixabay pic)

In ancient Greek mythology, King Sisyphus was cursed to forever roll a rock up a mountaintop, only to have the rock roll back down to the bottom each time he reached the top.

Likewise, Wu Gang is a mythological figure, albeit from Chinese folklore, cursed to continue an endless task.

According to the story, Wu Gang was an ordinary mortal who had dreams of joining the immortal gods up in the heavens.

Hence, he sought the tutelage of an immortal being, seeking their guidance in gaining immortality.

There was just one problem: Wu Gang was quite a lazy and impatient fellow.

While the immortal tolerated his behaviour at first, eventually, he grew irritated at Wu Gang’s half-hearted attempts at completing his quest for immortality.

Tired of his hopeless pupil, the immortal finally brought Wu Gang up to the moon where a tree grew, telling him that if he successfully chopped the tree down, he would achieve immortality.

While Wu Gang took to his task with much gusto, the immortal left him, not telling him that the tree was magical and would constantly regenerate.

And there Wu Gang remains and if you look hard enough at the black shadow on the moon, you might just see him hard at work, still working away at chopping down the tree.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Dust Storms Roll Over Parts of Brazil's Sao Paulo State

Dust storms rolled through parts of the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo on October 14 and 15. Brazil’s National Institute of Meteorology reported the sandstorms, while similar to the ones ... Read more »

Martha Stewart's Cheddar Bread Is the Savory Treat We're Craving Right Now

© Hubert Boesl/AP. Design: Ashley Britton/SheKnows. Now that the weather is turning cooler, we’re craving warming, hearty treats — both sweet and savory. And of course, Martha Stewart is here to ... Read more »

Venezuelan government suspends negotiations with opposition

© Reuters/Leonardo Fernandez Viloria FILE PHOTO: A woman walks by a mural in support of the liberation of Colombian businessman and envoy Alex Saab, who is detained in Cape Verde ... Read more »

Gordon Brown urges emergency Covid vaccine airlift to Africa

More than 100,000 lives can be saved in Africa by undertaking the emergency airlift of 240m unused vaccines in the next fortnight, Gordon Brown has urged. © Provided by The ... Read more »

Your vacation guide to Tenerife, Canary Islands

© Provided by The Points Guy MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from ... Read more »

Decomposed body found in trash bag beside garbage on Brooklyn street

A decomposed corpse wrapped in a comforter, stuffed into a trash bag and thrown into a pile of garbage was found on a Brooklyn sidewalk Saturday, police and sources said. ... Read more »

SOLS 24/7: One teacher's quest to educate the poor

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today SOLS 24/7 aims to uplift underprivileged Orang Asli communities. (SOLS 24/7 pic) PETALING JAYA: The Covid-19 pandemic greatly affected the livelihoods of Malaysians across ... Read more »

MVA govt most corrupt in Maharashtra history: Fadnavis

© Provided by The Times of India MUMBAI: Calling the Uddhav Thackeray government the most corrupt in the history of Maharashtra, leader of the opposition in the assembly Devendra Fadnavis ... Read more »

BRTS airport shuttle service to resume on Monday, says AMC

© Provided by The Indian Express The Bus Rapid Transit Service (BRTS) shuttle service to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport will resume from October 18, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation ... Read more »

Trend watch: How to wear oversized shirts

An oversized shirt is the neutral power player of your wardrobe. Choose a striped fabric, or classic white or blue, and you will find that its versatility is limitless. Style ... Read more »

Meeting our constituents is essence of being MP: SIR LINDSAY HOYLE

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Sir David Amess was a regular in our office. Not because, like many MPs, he wanted to secure a debate or ask for ... Read more »

Bill Clinton expected to be released from hospital on Sunday

Former President Bill Clinton is expected to be released from the hospital on Sunday following an infection. © Getty Images Bill Clinton expected to be released from hospital on Sunday ... Read more »

Democrats Weigh Carbon Tax After Manchin Rejects Key Climate Provision

WASHINGTON — Some House and Senate Democrats, smarting from a move by Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, to kill a major element of President Biden’s climate plan, ... Read more »

Bill Clinton, 75, will spend one more night in hospital and be discharged tomorrow after ‘sepsis from UTI' battle

FORMER president Bill Clinton is expected to be discharged from the University of California Irvine Medical Center tomorrow after being treated for sepsis. “He is in great spirits and has ... Read more »

Evidence on Shoreham crash pilot's mental state will be probed in secret hearing

EVIDENCE on a crash pilot’s mental state will be probed in a secret court hearing usually reserved for spooks. Andrew Hill, 56, was cleared of the manslaughter of 11 men ... Read more »

Apparently, it's the next big thing. What is the metaverse?

© Getty Images The metaverse is a concept being talked about as the next big thing by tech companies, marketers, and analysts. It’s attracting attention – and money – from ... Read more »

Health ministry reports 88 new Covid-19 deaths

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today PETALING JAYA: The health ministry reported 88 Covid-19 deaths yesterday, according to its GitHub database. Of the total, 26 were classified as brought-in-dead. The ... Read more »

Data: Nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers are fully vaccinated

© Provided by Associated Press FILE – In this April 14, 2021, file photo, a Northwell Health nurses vaccinates Local 28 sheet metal workers with the first dose of the ... Read more »

Emani 22 death update – Cause of death for Feelings & Dripomatic R&B singer unknown after Bhad Bhabie led tributes

R&B artist Emani 22 has reportedly passed away earlier this week as confirmed by a statement from her producer, as fans and fellow stars pay tribute. In a statement to ... Read more »

Outspoken Kitingan leaves GRS ties at risk, says analyst

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Jeffrey Kitingan and Maximus Ongkili have been at odds over Sabah’s rights. KOTA KINABALU: Jeffrey Kitingan’s outspokenness on state’s rights could cause friction among ... Read more »

BBC star's teenage daughter kicked out of boarding school ‘after being found in possession of drugs'

THE teenage daughter of a BBC star has been kicked out of boarding school over drugs allegations. The wayward youngster got into partying over the summer and refused to settle ... Read more »

One doctor a week is booted out of the profession for misconduct and incompetence

HUNDREDS of docs have been struck off in the past five years for misconduct and incompetence. An audit of disciplinary cases by The Sun on Sunday show one a week ... Read more »

PAS urges Home Ministry to be stricter in regulating alcohol industry

© Provided by Malay Mail PAS’ Kamaruzaman Mohamad said Kelantan should be used as an example in the regulation of alcoholic drinks. — Picture by Firdaus Latif KUALA LUMPUR, Oct ... Read more »

88 kes kematian baharu Covid-19 dilapor semalam

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Sebanyak 95,395 kes aktif dilaporkan termasuk 694 yang ditempatkan di unit rawatan rapi (ICU). PETALING JAYA: Kementerian Kesihatan melaporkan sebanyak 88 kes kematian Covid-19 ... Read more »

Lottery results and numbers: Lotto and Thunderball draw tonight, October 16

THE NATIONAL Lottery results are in and it's time to find out who has won a life-changing amount of money tonight (October 16, 2021). Could tonight's jackpot of £3.8million see ... Read more »

Real police gear like that used by killer cop Wayne Couzens is being flogged on Facebook

REAL police gear like that used by killer cop Wayne Couzens is being flogged on Facebook. The online giant is the latest to be found selling “convincing” kit after last ... Read more »

Monday is the most popular day of the week to work from home

HOME workers are now known as TWTs — with most of them staying away from the office on Mondays. Only one in ten visits work on the first day of ... Read more »

Supermarkets ‘to ration festive food in bid to save Christmas' amid lorry driver crisis

SUPERMARKETS will ration food in a bid to save Christmas, retail sources say. Items that make the festivities special — such as turkeys and sprouts — will be prioritised. Supermarkets ... Read more »

Los Angeles County wants Vanessa Bryant and others to take a psychiatric exam ahead of trial

Los Angeles County wants to compel the widow of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and others involved in a lawsuit over leaked photos of the helicopter crash that killed him, their ... Read more »

ear for eye review – a blistering call to action with Lashana Lynch

A mother is talking to her teenage son about what to do when approached by the police. He shows his palms. “Inflammatory,” she says. He puts his hands in his ... Read more »

Cameron Norrie reaches Indian Wells final after defeating Grigor Dimitrov

Cameron Norrie is a win away from one of the biggest titles in tennis after defeating Grigor Dimitrov to reach the final of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. ... Read more »

The Queen, 95, to cut back commitments over winter as age takes toll

THE Queen will cut back her commitments over the winter as she struggles with getting about. Courtiers will ensure she walks less at public engagements and avoids steps and cobbles. ... Read more »

Property dubbed ‘Willy House' is on sale for £925,000 despite PENIS-shaped trees

A PROPERTY dubbed the Willy House is for sale for £925,000 — and is sure to arouse interest. Yews are shaped into phalluses at the five-bed pad once owned by ... Read more »

Channel 4's Stand Up To Cancer raises more than £31m

The star-studded Stand Up To Cancer broadcast raised more than £31 million towards research into new treatments for the disease, Channel 4 said. Hosted by Davina McCall, Alan Carr, Maya ... Read more »

Priti Patel to face questions over suspect held on suspicion of murdering MP

The Home Secretary will face questions concerning what was known about a suspect held on suspicion of murdering MP Sir David Amess as police were granted extra time to question ... Read more »

I was mortified when I stripped naked for a charity calendar shoot only to find out I'd totally misunderstood the brief

A MUM was left red in the face after she posed naked for a charity calendar – only to realise she was supposed to have kept her clothes on. Clare ... Read more »

Injuries a big problem for Golden Knights with Pacioretty, Stone out

If the Kings’ 6-2 win didn’t give people some pause about the Golden Knights cruising to a Pacific Division title, then a worrisome injury list might do the trick. The ... Read more »

Bad beats: Kentucky covers 21.5-point spread by scoring TD with 4 seconds left

Georgia bettors are a little ticked off about the final 11:27 of the Bulldogs’ win over No. 11 Kentucky. The Wildcats scored with four seconds left in Georgia’s 30-13 victory ... Read more »

Liz Cheney, Lisa Murkowski and other Trump targets outraise their Republican rivals

Four Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach or convict former President Donald Trump over his role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol outraised the candidates he has ... Read more »

Purdue Shuts Down No. 2 Iowa in Upset at Kinnick

© Provided by Sports Illustrated The win at Kinnick adds another historic victory for the Boilermakers, who handed the Hawkeyes their first loss of 2021. View the original article to ... Read more »