CHỊ HẰNG NGA

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If you read our last post on Moon cake, where I confessed my singular, discriminatory love sầu for sweet moon cakes, perhaps you are wondering – what else is there to lớn this festival?


Say hello khổng lồ my little friends – Chang’e The Moon Lady a.k.a Chị Hằng Nga và The Moon Boy a.k.a Crúc Cuội , two mythical legends that are attached khổng lồ the Mid-autumn Festival, making it larger than life & embedding meaning inkhổng lồ the festival.

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Most children in Vietnam giới are familiar with the stories of these two iconic characters whose images are the staple in promotional materials for any Mid-autumn related events or products.




Hang Nga was an exceptional beauty, married to lớn Hau Nghe – an extraordinary archer. As the legkết thúc goes, Hang Nga and Hau Nghe were immortal gods residing in the heavens with the Jade Emperor. One fine day, the Jade Emperor, out of sheer anger, ordered his 10 sons to lớn morph inkhổng lồ 10 suns lớn scorch the Earth và punish humans. Hau Nghe felt sympathetic towards defenseless mortal beings on Earth và decided to use his archery skills to lớn shoot down 9 suns, leaving only one lớn shine khổng lồ eternity. The Jade Emperor upon realizing this act of treachery that killed 9 of his sons, banished the couple khổng lồ Earth lớn live as mere mortals.


When the people heard that their saviour was banished to lớn Earth, they flocked lớn hyên in droves hoping to lớn learn his skills. Hau Nghe thus started khổng lồ accept pupils and spent his days teaching archery. Hang Nga, however, was deeply impacted by the banishment, especially by the loss of her immortality. Hau Nghe loved his wife và didn’t want khổng lồ see her suffer, so he pursued a quest lớn find the fountain of youth lớn give sầu themselves immortality. On his quest he met the Queen Mother of the West, who felt sympathetic lớn his story và decided to gift hyên an exlixir of immortality. Ecstatic, Hau Nghe brought the elixir back trang chủ & asked Hang Nga to lớn store it safely until he is done with his teachings.

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Unbeknownst khổng lồ the couple, one of their students had ulterior motives. He knew Hau Nghe was in possession of an immortality elixir and wanted to lớn steal the elixir. One day, while Hau Nghe was deep in the forest honing his skills, the student broke inlớn his house and confronted Hang Nga. Knowing she couldn’t give the elixir khổng lồ an evil man, Hang Nga had no choice but khổng lồ swallow the elixir lớn protect herself and keep it from the hands of the wrong man.


Upon swallowing the exlixir, Hang Nga’s body immediately became weightless. She floated up higher và higher into the sky. Hau Nghe tried to lớn shoot her down but failed miserably. Desperate to be as cchiến bại to her husband as possible, Hang Nga held on to lớn the moon & stayed there.



Every year, on full moon days, Hau Nghe looks up at the moon lớn see his beautiful wife and places offerings in spiritual rituals khổng lồ profess his love sầu.


This is one version of the story. Like all myths & legends, there are variants of the story with different details, but the plot remains much the same.


On our next blog post, read about another famous tale of The Moon Boy – a fun story that involved a tree, urine, & flying.


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