What Chang'e is
Posted by: Jim (IP Logged)
Date: October 27, 2007 03:50AM
China's first moon orbiter which is likely to be launched at around 6:00 p.m. Wednesday from a southwest launch center, has been named after "moon lady" Chang'e, a mythical Chinese goddess who flew to the moon.
Chang'e and her husband Hou Yi, an outstanding archer, are the subjects of one of the most popular of Chinese mythological legends.
According to one version of the story, Chang'e was the beautiful wife of Hou Yi, a hero who shot down nine suns scorching the earth. At that time, there were ten suns that took turns to circle the earth one every 10 days, but one day all ten suns emerged together, causing immense damage on earth.
The shooting-down of nine suns by Yi, a famous archer, was highly praised by people on earth. Yi then had more disciples longing to learn archery including the evil Peng Meng.
Yi one day received an immortality elixir and asked his wife to keep it. Chang'e hid the elixir in a box, which was seen by Peng who forced Chang'e to hand over the pill when Yi went out for hunting.
Threatened by Peng and rather than hand the elixir over, Chang'e chose to swallow the elixir and found herself starting to float toward the sky. She kept on floating until she landed on the moon where she became a goddess, accompanied by a jade rabbit.
Yi's loss of his wife made him immensely sad, but he noticed that the moon was especially bright and clear, and began to worship his beloved wife on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month each year when the moon is at its fullest and brightest.
The legend has been depicted and adapted in many old Chinese stories, demonstrating a long-standing fascination with the moon in Chinese imagination.
Re: What Chang'e is
Posted by: Jay (IP Logged)
Date: October 27, 2007 09:51AM
Hehe, it's like the European satellite to the sun, it's called Icare, named after a old legend of a father and his son wanting to fly up to the sun...
Re: What Chang'e is
Posted by: ez (IP Logged)
Date: October 27, 2007 01:03PM
"the 15th day of the eighth lunar month each year when the moon is at its fullest and brightest"
That's the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival 中秋节 and the story behind mooncakes 月饼 !
"Icare, named after a old legend of a father and his son wanting to fly up to the sun..."
Hehe...wax and feathers....
I really love both stories.