The tendency to see patterns everywhere is a common human trait. These habits existed since the dawn of time and had helped the humankind to evolve into the superior beings, which we are today. The patterns on the moon have especially enthralled us over the years, making many people derive visions and meanings.
Today, you’ll learn about some folk tales and stories from different cultures based on how people see the patterns on this wondrous celestial body.
1. Moon Rabbit (Japan)
The Japanese folk honor the moon in the month of September by holding the moon gazing festival. According to the legends, once an old man living on the moon arrived on Earth, disguised as a beggar, to test the compassion of three friends: a fox, a rabbit, the monkey. After he had asked for food, the monkey brought him some fruit, and the Fox brought him Fish.
The rabbit, unable to offer anything, volunteered to put himself on fire so that the hungry beggar could eat him as food. Humbled with gratitude, the old man decided to immortalize the rabbit by giving him a place in the moon with him permanently.
2. Man on the moon (Germany/Europe)
According to some European folklore, there is a man on the moon carrying a bundle of wood. A German folk tale recounts the story as the tale of an old man who once lived in the woods. He went out to collect firewood on Sunday and met with a stranger while coming back home. The stranger asked why he was collecting wood on the day of Sabbath.
Upon hearing the question, the old man laughed out loud and said it makes no difference which day it is. The stranger punished him by placing him on the moon, forever condemning him to carry wood. The image remains as a lesson to those who refuse to recognize the Sabbath.
3. Moon toad (China)
According to a Chinese folk tale, Chang’e, the goddess of the moon, once told an elixir of immortality from her husband and drank it. Afraid that her husband would be angry when she finds out, she had herself on the moon by taking the shape of a Toad.
4. Other stories
Similar to the stories mentioned above, the Aztecs, the Maori, Angolans, Middle Easterners, etc. have their own version of the “man on the moon” that sometimes involves other figures as well. It is fascinating to think that the culture we share our so much similar than they are different, no matter which part of the world you look at.