THE STORY OF CHANG 'E
Chang 'e, the Moon Goddess, appears in several legends in Chinese mythology. Often associated with the mid-Autumn festival, Chang 'e's story revolves around greed, love, and immortality. A long time ago, the Earth was plagued with ten suns. Chang 'e's husband Hou Yi, a master archer, shot down nine of the suns, and thus became a hero to all. As his reward, Hou Yi was gifted the elixir of life, but it was Chang 'e who consumed the elixir. When she took the elixir of life, she flew into the skies, and landed on the Moon.
Chang 'e's legend is often paired with that of the Moon rabbit, who also lives on the moon and is depicted with a mortar and pestle. In some legends, the Moon rabbit accompanies Chang 'e and makes the elixir of life for her so that she may continue to stay on the Moon. In other more playful legends, the rabbit is hard at work making a rice cake treat, aka mochi! Altars brimming with food are displayed on mid-Autumn day, paying worship to Chang 'e in return for blessings of rejuvenation, beauty, and fertility.
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