Jade Rabbit Legend


Every year, on August 15 of the lunar calendar, the countries of East Asia happen the Mid-Autumn Festival. There are many legends go along with the festival, including the legend of Jade Rabbit. Jade Rabbit is mentioned a lot in China, Japan. There are some variants on this legend.

Legend 1

In the old days, there were 3 fairies who turned into poor old men wandering around to ask for the food of animals: fox, monkey and rabbit. The fox and the monkey had some food to give the old men, but the rabbet had nothing in hands. Therefore, the rabbit jumped into the fire right next to him, baked himself to make food for the old men. The fairies were deeply moved by the spirit of the rabbit, so they took him to the moon to make friends with the Moon Lady. At that time, suddenly his body became pure and bright, also since then, the rabbit has been called Jade Rabbit.

Legend 2

One upon a time, because the crop failed, the creatures were about dying from hunger. Animals killed each other to have food. Weak rabbits could not face with dangerous animals, so they lied in a secret place together not eating. Both hungry and cold, suddenly seeing a fire nearby, they came near and lied around both looked at each other and cried. Facing with that troubled situation, a rabbit moved compassion, jumped into the fire, burned himself to make food for his fellow. Just then, Buddha passed, He secretly praised the rabbit’s kindness, picked up his bones, turn them into a jade rabbit clear and bright, brought it to the moon to live with the Moon Lady.

Legend 3

According to legend, in the old days, there was a pair of rabbits meditating for thousands of years, so they became enlightened and became fairies. They had a very cute flock of children. One day the Jade Emperor called the husband to the heavenly court. When going to the southern heavenly court gate the husband rabbit saw Thai Bach Kim Tinh (The name of a fairy in China legend) transferring the Moon Lady to return to the moon after being convicted by the Jade Emperor. The husband rabbit did not understand what had happened and asked the gatekeeper. He said because the Moon Lady had compromised with Hau Nghe to shoot down nine suns that were the sons of Jade Emperor, so Jade Emperor had accused her and had forced her to return to the moon and had stayed forever on it. After listening to the Moon Lady’s situation, the husband rabbit thought that because of helping human beings, the Moon Lady was punished, had to be lonely. The husband rabbit suddenly thought of his four children and immediately flew back home.

The husband rabbit brought the story of the Moon Lady to his wife and said he wanted to bring a young rabbit to the moon to make friend with the Moon Lady. Although his wife was very sympathetic to the Moon Lady, she did not want to leave her children. The young rabbits also did not want to leave their parents, all rabbits cried. The husband said to his children, “If I were locked up, would you live with me? Because of rescuing human beings, the Moon Lady is implicated, why do not we love her? Children, we cannot just think of ourselves! ” The little rabbits understood their father’s heart, so they all agreed to go. The couple rabbits moved to tear, looking at their children smiling. They decided to let the youngest rabbit go. The youngest rabbit parted from his parents and sisters, going to the moon to live with the Moon Lady.


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