Culture - Chinese

WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 38078 [post_author] => 1006 [post_date] => 2015-09-13 06:30:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-09-12 20:30:35 [post_content] =>

While the origins of the Moon Festival is rooted in ancient Chinese traditions of thanksgiving during the harvest season over the Autumnal Equinox, the tradition today is largely centered around the significance of the Moon goddess in local folklore.

As the full moon is a symbol of prosperity, peace and family reunion, Chinese families would get together over the Moon Festival - when the moon is supposed to be at its fullest and brightest - as a 'night of reunion'. The folklore behind this tradition commemorates the love of Chang E and Hou Yi.

full moon - Significance of Moon Goddess and Lantern

Image: PsJeremy used under the Creative Commons Licence

Story of the Moon Goddess

Legend has it that long time ago the sky had ten suns which made life on earth unbearable. Hou Yi, shot down nine out of the ten suns, saving everyone, and leaving one sun to provide warmth and light to the people.

One day when Hou Yi was on his way to visit a friend he came across the queen of heaven who gave him an elixir that would make him immortal. But he didn't consume it as he didn't want to leave his wife Chang E alone. He took the elixir home and gave it to her for safe-keeping. But a man named Peng Meng saw this and wanted the elixir for himself.

He waited for a few days and one day, when Hou Yi was out, he broke into their house and asked Chang E to hand over the elixir to him. Knowing she couldn't stop Peng Meng, Chang E consumed the elixir herself. As soon as she drank the elixir she became an immortal and ascended into the sky.

Because of her love for Hou Yi, Chang E resided on the moon, which is considered to be closest place from both the heaven and the earth.

One day when Hou Yi was looking at the moon he saw a figurine that looked just like Chang E. He went to an altar and offered all of her favourite food there, and when people learnt what had happened they started worshipping her as the Moon Goddess and made offerings to the moon.

Ever since that day the moon festival has been celebrated in the honour of the Moon Goddess. There is another belief that on every fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, the two lovers Hou Yi and Chang E meet somewhere in the middle of the heaven and the earth to be reunited.

significance of moon goddess and  lanterns

Image courtesy of Royalty-free Google image

[post_title] => Significance of the Moon Goddess [post_excerpt] => The Moon Festival is the second largest festival celebrated by the Chinese and the significance of the Moon goddess and lanterns is extremely high. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => significance-of-moon-goddess [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-27 13:37:08 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-27 02:37:08 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://asianinspirations.com.au/?post_type=asian-culture&p=38078 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => asian-culture [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )

Significance of the Moon Goddess

While the origins of the Moon Festival is rooted in ancient Chinese traditions of thanksgiving during the harvest season over the Autumnal Equinox, the tradition today is largely centered around the significance of the Moon goddess in local folklore.

As the full moon is a symbol of prosperity, peace and family reunion, Chinese families would get together over the Moon Festival – when the moon is supposed to be at its fullest and brightest – as a ‘night of reunion’. The folklore behind this tradition commemorates the love of Chang E and Hou Yi.

full moon - Significance of Moon Goddess and Lantern

Image: PsJeremy used under the Creative Commons Licence

Story of the Moon Goddess

Legend has it that long time ago the sky had ten suns which made life on earth unbearable. Hou Yi, shot down nine out of the ten suns, saving everyone, and leaving one sun to provide warmth and light to the people.

One day when Hou Yi was on his way to visit a friend he came across the queen of heaven who gave him an elixir that would make him immortal. But he didn’t consume it as he didn’t want to leave his wife Chang E alone. He took the elixir home and gave it to her for safe-keeping. But a man named Peng Meng saw this and wanted the elixir for himself.

He waited for a few days and one day, when Hou Yi was out, he broke into their house and asked Chang E to hand over the elixir to him. Knowing she couldn’t stop Peng Meng, Chang E consumed the elixir herself. As soon as she drank the elixir she became an immortal and ascended into the sky.

Because of her love for Hou Yi, Chang E resided on the moon, which is considered to be closest place from both the heaven and the earth.

One day when Hou Yi was looking at the moon he saw a figurine that looked just like Chang E. He went to an altar and offered all of her favourite food there, and when people learnt what had happened they started worshipping her as the Moon Goddess and made offerings to the moon.

Ever since that day the moon festival has been celebrated in the honour of the Moon Goddess. There is another belief that on every fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, the two lovers Hou Yi and Chang E meet somewhere in the middle of the heaven and the earth to be reunited.

significance of moon goddess and  lanterns

Image courtesy of Royalty-free Google image

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