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Tall and Telling Family Tales

moon rabbit400x263Is There Really a Rabbit on the Moon?

Have you ever spotted a rabbit on the moon? Anyone who sees the full moon is most likely to spot a rabbit’s’ impression on it. Here’s a story of the Jade Rabbit that is known to have lived on the moon for years now. The tale of the Jade Rabbit goes back to 475-221 BCE, in ancient China. According to a legend, the moon rabbit, also known as the jade rabbit, is a companion to the Moon Goddess Chang E. The evening before the Moon Festival, friends and family gather together to eat cakes, drink tea, sip some wine and enjoy time together. On the day of the moon festival, offerings are made to the moon by placing them on a celebration table that is decorated with a picture of the moon palace and a small clay figure of the Jade Rabbit.

e: vietnam@destination-asia.com


Dragon Boat Fest600x394The Story Behind the Dragon Boat Festival

Eating Zongzi is one of the most popular traditions associated with the Dragon Boat Festival. In 278 BC, the Qin State conquered the capital of Chu and on hearing of the defeat, Qu Yuan in great despair committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. When they heard of Qu Yuan’s death, the local people were very sad, and rowed out on the river to search for his body but were unable to find him. To preserve his body, they paddled their boats up and down the river, hitting the water with their paddles and beating drums to scare evil spirits away. They then threw lumps of rice into the river to feed the fish so that they would not eat Qu Yuan’s body. An old Chinese doctor poured wine into the river to poison the monsters and protect Qu Yuan. Since then people in the Miluo River area (about 50 km north of Changsha in central China’s Hunan Province) have followed similar practices to commemorate Qu Yuan on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. Gradually, rowing boats developed into dragon boat racing, the lumps of rice became sticky rice dumplings (zongzi) traditionally eaten during the festival, and wine is now drunk in commemoration of the great patriot Qu Yuan.

e: china@destination-asia.com


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