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The legend of the Mid-Autumn Festival

The fifteenth of the eighth month in the lunar calendar, which is the middle of autumn, is the Chinese traditional Mid-Autumn Day. There are many legends about the origin of the Mid-Autumn Festival and the most popular one is the story of “Chang’e’s Flying to the Moon.” It is said that in ancient times, there were ten suns in the sky, drying up the land and people were on the verge of dying. Hou Yi, a hero, felt very sorry for the people and shot down nine suns in one roll. When the last sun begged Hou to let it go, Hou forced the sun to rise and set regulary for the welfare of the people. Soon, Hou married Chang’e, who was beautiful and virtuous.

One day, Hou ran into an aged Taoist when on the way hunting and the Taoist gave Hou a package of elixir to help him get into the celestial world and be immortal. Unable to bear the leaving of his beloved wife and countrymen, Hou aksed Chang’e to lock the elixir in the jewelry box.

Feng Meng, a sycophant, was learning craftsmanship from Hou. When Feng heard that Hou has elixir and he desperately wanted to steal it. On the day of August 15th, Feng sneaked into Chang’e’s room when Hou went out hunting with his apprentices. In order to protect the elixir, Chang’e swallowed the elixir. Out of a sudden, she became very light and ascended out the window to the sky. Chang’e chose to stay on the Moon, which was closest to his husband on the earth. When Hou got back home and he could not find his wife, he rushed out the house and saw the moon was bigger, rounder and brighter than before. Hou missed his wife so much that he put all fruits on the table in the memory of his wife.

The story has been passed down from generation to generation.

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