Chinese Mythology: Chang-e's Ascent to the Moon

Topics: Mid-Autumn Festival, Chinese mythology, Moon Pages: 3 (1292 words) Published: March 4, 2013
Chang-e’s Ascent to the Moon
Chang-e is the lunar goddess in Chinese traditional myths. In China, she is a widely known character. She is known as a very beautiful woman who is living alone in a palace in the moon called “Guanghan Palace”. Her story is one of the most famous tragedies in Chinese myths. Recently there are several “retold” versions of the story of Chang-e’s ascent to the moon in different media. In 2010, there was a teleplay named “Chang-e” that told about the love story of Chang-e, Houyi, Wugang and Jade Rabbit. In the retold story, the relationship of these four persons is very complicated at the beginning. Later on, Houyi falls in love with Chang-e and Wugang is in love to Jade Rabbit. They try to start their new lives happily. However, a great flood troubles people, and it can be only resolved by Chang-e. The Jade Emperor gives 2 pills to Houyi and Chang-e but one of the 2 pills is destroyed and exchanged a fake one by a scoundrel. Houyi eats the fake pill when he knows this since he wants Chang-e to float to the moon and control the tides, so that she can stop the disaster. At the end, Chang-e floats to the moon alone. Jade Rabbit sympathizes with Chang-e so she also floats to the moon to accompany her. The 2 couples are both separated. There are several versions of the ancient myth about Chang-e. But the most famous one is from the book “huainanzi” . Chang-e is Houyi’s wife. Houyi gets elixir from Xiwangmu (the Western Queen Mother), and give it to his wife to store. When Houyi is going out to hunt, his student Fengmeng try to steal it but he is discovered by Chang-e. When he wants to kill Chang-e, she swallows the elixir and floats to the moon. Houyi is very angry when he backs home and Fengmeng has already fled. Houyi feels sad and miss Chang-e, so he prepares some fruits and cakes Chang-e likes as sacrifices to worship. The Mother of Moon shows mercy and allows them to meet in the night with full moon. People believe Chang-e...

References: 1. Wen Yu溫雲, (2010) ‘電視劇《嫦娥》正在播出 姚笛版嫦娥有情有義’, Retrieved from
2. Gao You高誘. Huainanzi Explanation 淮南子注.Worldbook Taiwan, 1965.
3. Jiang Pei Ying江培英, 300 Song Poems 宋詞三百首. Thread-Blinding Books Publishing House, 2003.
4. Liu Zhi Qing柳志卿, (2007) ‘“嫦娥一號”發射時間確定 但未到公佈時機’,Xinhuanet. Retrieved from
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