3 Legends About the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

3 Legends About the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

Do you want to know more about the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival? Here are three legends you’ll find entertaining.

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is coming up next week. In 2018, it falls on Monday, September 24th. The interesting part is that it falls after the fall equinox occurs, which happens on Saturday, September 22nd of this year. The difference for this is that the Chinese follow the lunar calendar, which presents a very different measure of time passing. Do you want to know more about the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival? Here are three legends you’ll find entertaining.

Chang’e Flies to the Moon

Of the many legends relating to the Mid-Autumn Festival, this is among the most famous. A long time ago, there were ten suns hanging in the sky. All the heat and light was causing great havoc and destruction on the planet below. Hou Yi, an expert archer, used his bow and arrow to shoot down nine of the suns, leaving only one and saving the world. Hou Yi’s reward was a magic potion from the Western Queen Mother that could grant immortality. But Hou Yi wanted to stay home with his wife Chang’e instead of becoming an immortal. One day, Hou Yi was away from home and Chang’e was left home alone. During a confrontation with Pang Meng, one of Hou Yi’s students who had decided to steal the potion, Chang’e drank it in a moment of desperation. She was transported to the moon, which left Hou Yi on Earth to worship her.

Wu Gang Chops the Cherry Tree

Wu Gang was a woodsman who wanted to attain immortality, but he angered the Emperor of the Heavens. As a punishment, the Emperor planted a giant cherry tree on the moon. This tree was a mile high, and Wu Gang’s task was to chop it down to earn his immortality. But what Wu Gang didn’t know is that the Emperor tricked him – every time he tried to bring the tree down, it would magically restore itself!

Jade Rabbit

Do you love the look of jade? If so, then this legend of the Mid-Autumn Festival is one for you. 

As the story goes, the jade rabbit is a companion of Chang’E on the moon. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Our story begins with three common animals, a fox, a rabbit, and a monkey who all lived in a forest together. Three immortals disguised themselves as poor beggars and went around asking for food. Fox and Monkey offered them some food right away. However, Rabbit didn’t – not because she didn’t want to, but because she couldn’t. Rabbit apologized and threw herself onto the fire as a sacrifice. The three immortals, however, were impressed by what Rabbit did, and sent her to the Moon Palace to live with Chang’E as an immortal.


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