Moon Festival is also known as Mid-August Festival. August 15 is the middle of August according to the Lunar calendar. August is the harvest time, and on the 15th day, people give thanks to God for the blessings they received from heaven. It also is the time for family reunions. Together they celebrate with a big banquet and thanksgiving to God. After the worship, the family would sit under the moon, eating fruits and moon cakes. The young ones may sit around the elders to listen to interesting stories.
There are many different stories related to the moon festival. The best stories I have heard about the moon festival, are “Chang Er flew into the moon!” and ” Wu Gang chops the Laurel tree”. They are not just Mythological stories, but also fable stories. I loved to tell my students in Chinese school these stories when I was a teacher. From the story, my students would learn “Thou shall not steal.” and “Do not drink.”
Here is the story of “Chang Er flew into the moon!”
Long, long ago, there were 10 suns in the sky! The heat of the suns killed almost all the living things on earth.
The king in heaven notified the people on earth: ” Whoever can destroy the 9 extras suns, will marry the most beautiful lady on earth, Chang Er, and fulfill his first wish.
The strong worriers and archers came from all over the earth. But none of them could destroy any of those extra suns. Finally, there came the strongest archer of them all, his name was Ho Yee. With his powerful bow and arrow, he shot with his strongest arms began to shot at sun.. There, one by one, Ho Yee shut down the extra 9 suns! so he married the most beautiful lady on earth and fulfilled his first wish: “Immortality pill.”
Ho Yee was too busy to eat the Immortality Pill right away. So he hid it on the top of a very tall shelf and went out.
Ho Yee’s wife, Chang Er, got into the room while Ho Yee was not there. She smelled the sweetest fragrance she had ever smelled. She saw bright sparkles shinning on the top of that shelf.
Curiously, Chang Er climbed up to the top of the shelf. There, she found the Immortality Pill. She put it into her mouth when she saw her husband Ho Yee stepped into the room.
Ho Yee got so angry! But before he could fetch his wife, Chang Er’s body became so light, as light as a piece of feather. She flew out of the window and flew towards the moon, and kept flying on and on and on. Chang Er wanted to stop, but she could not. Until she landed on the moon. The King in heaven gave her a big beautiful palace to live. The palace was as beautiful as you can imagine! But cold inside, not in temperature. There was no one else live in it except her and a rabbit. She could never be able to come back to earth. She lives on the moon forever. Young and beautiful forever!