Jade Rabbit On the Moon 月宫玉兔

Oct 02, 2009 at 12:19 | Posted in Chinese Culture 中华文化, Culture, Localization 本土化 | Leave a comment
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(Original posting  by Song on September 8, 08 http://www.beijingshowandgo.com)

One of the Chinese tales around the moon is about Lady Changer and a rabbit family.

Long time ago there were 10 suns in the sky. The earth was extremely warm, so warm that plants withered and animals could not live. A warrior, Houyi, came along. He marched, climbed, and finally reached the highest point of the Kunlun Mountains. Using his arrows, he shot down the suns one by one. After 9 suns were down, he left the last one untouched in the sky, but ordered the sun to rise and set on a schedule to support the earth.

Houyi married a beautiful girl, Changer. Many young men gathered asking for to be trained by Houyi to be a warrior. One day Houyi met Goddess Wang and received a small package of herb that secures immortality. However, the herb also automatically lifts an herb-user away from the earth forever. This was nothing Houyi wanted because Houyi did not want to leave his wife. He passed the herb to Changer and asked her to keep it safe. The secret was discovered by one of the students, Pengmeng.

One day all the students followed Houyi out to hunt in the Mountains. Pengmeng sneaked out of the group. He, with a sword in his hand, found Changer and asked her for the herb. Changer, instead of letting an evil become immortal, swallowed the herb herself. She was lifted out of the window immediately and flew through the sky. In the sky, she found out that the moon is the closest planet to the earth. She chose to stay in the moon so she could see her husband from the closest distance she could get.

Houyi came back from hunting and found no wife. He went out in the night air crying into the night sky. He saw that the moon that night was extremely bright and seemingly having his wife’s figure swaying. He went to chase the moon, but the moon moved back when he moved forward. He could never make it. He then setup a small table with incense burner and covered the table with her favorite food and fruit. Many villagers joined in.

One day, a rabbit dad of a rabbit family was called in by Jade Emperor to the Emperor’s Heaven Palace in the moon. The rabbit Dad saw the lone and sad Changer, and discovered her story. After returning home, he discussed with the rabbit Mom on sending one of their four children to accompany Changer. The rabbit Mom felt sad for Changer, but heart-broken when realizing that she had to separate with her own child. After learning the tragedy, all four children volunteered to go and to live with Changer. At the end, the youngest one was chosen, left the earth, became the Jade Rabbit and stayed in the moon with Lady Changer forever.

If you look hard at the moon, you should see the Jade Rabbit and Lady Changer still living there today.

(Original posting Sep 8, 08 by Song at http://www.beijingshowandgo.com/login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fmembers%2fshareplaza_zoomed_in.aspx%3fItem%3dTr9%26ItemTitle%3dJade%2520Rabbit%2520On%2520the%2520Moon%26SharePostTimeandBy%3dSep%25208%2c%252008%2520by%2520Song&Item=Tr9&ItemTitle=Jade%20Rabbit%20On%20the%20Moon&SharePostTimeandBy=Sep%208,%2008%20by%20Song)

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