Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mid Autumn Festival

There are so many variations and adaptations legend about the moon in China. Nowadays, the most popular one tells how a goddess named Chang’er ascended the moon.

The story took place in a long, long time ago where around 2170 BC. A terrible drought plagued the earth as there are ten suns at the time burned fiercely in the sky like smoldering volcanoes. This has caused the burned of the ground. There isn’t any crops can grow and the people were suffering from the infertile.

The King of Heaven sent Hou Yi down to the earth to help. When Hou Yi felt sympathized to the human, so he decided to shoot down the suns with his red bow and white arrows but leave one to benefit the human. The weather immediately turned cooler and started to rain heavily filled the rivers with fresh water. The crops started to turn grow. Life was restored and humanity was saved.

Soon after, Hou Yi got married with a charming young woman, Chang’er. One day, when she was made her way home from a stream, holding a bamboo container. Then Hou Yi came forward, asking for a drink. When she saw the red bow and white arrows hanging around his belt, Chang’er realized that he was the hero who saved the people. When he was invited to drink, Chang’er plucked a beautiful flower and gave to Hou Yi as a token of respect. While Hou Yi, in turn, selected a beautiful silver fox fur as his gift for her. This meeting kindled the spark of their love. They lived happily together.

However, a mortal’s life is limited. In order to enjoy his happy life with Chang’er forever, Hou Yi decided to look for an elixir of life. Thus, he went to the Kunlun Mountains where the Western Queen Mother lived.

Due to his respect for the good deeds he had done, the Western Queen Mother rewarded Hou Yi with the elixir, a fine powder made from kernels of fruit which grew on the tree of eternity. At the mean time, she told him that if he and his wife shared the elixir, they would enjoy the eternal life, but if only one of them took it, that one would ascend to Heaven and become immortal.

When Hou Yi returned home and told Chang’er all that happened and they decided to drink the elixir together on the 15th day of the eight lunar month when the moon was full and bright.

Feng Meng, a wicked and merciless man were overheard of their plan and he wished Hou Yi an early death so that he can drink the elixir himself and become the immortal. His opportunity finally arrived. When the full moon rising, meanwhile Hou Yi was on his way back, Feng Meng killed him. Then he ran to Hou Yi’s home and forced Chang’er to give him the elixir. Without any hesitating, Chang’er picked up the elixir and drunk it all.

Chang’er rushed to her dead husband’s side, weeping bitterly. Soon when the elixir began to have effect on Chang’er and she felt being lifted towards Heaven.

Then Chang’er decided to live on the moon where it was the nearest to the earth. She lived in a simple and contented life. Even though she was in Heaven, but her heart still remained in the world of mortals. She did not forget the deep love of her on Hou Yi and the love for the people who had shared their sadness and happiness together.

It is said that Chang’er was transformed into brilliant moonlight and descended to earth to offer good fortune. Thus, the couples swear that their mutual love under the full moon while separated lovers pray for reunion under the moon.

1 Comment:

  1. Summer.smiles said...
    I love this story. It's sweet, endearing and loveable. A chinese culture fairytale. Is this going to be in your website? That'll be nice to see. Is the girl in that you've uploaded done by you? It's well done and nice.^^ Love the colour and effects. It's very ethereal

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