Tap to Read ➤

Myths and Legends about the Moon

Loveleena Rajeev
Read some of the famous myths and legends about the moon, that has enchanted generations of people.
There is something haunting in the light of the moon;
it has all the dispassionateness of a disembodied soul,
and something of its inconceivable mystery.

― Joseph Conrad 1857-1924, Polish-born British Novelist
In the ancient times, the moon along with the other heavenly bodies, was revered. That nobody could reach it, increased its mystic. This fascination gave birth to many myths and legends about the moon. It has always been associated with love, purity, and beauty. What makes it appear more mysterious is its ever changing face that shines so bright in the dark sky.
Not all stories about the moon are false, most myths were born and legends created have some form of truth in them, that may be relevant to the time they were created.

The Sun and The Moon

The Sun was in love with the moon and wanted to marry her. However, she was reluctant came up with an idea. She told the sun, that if he gave her a gift that would fit her size, she would marry him. So, the mighty sun got her the most beautiful robe ever seen.
But it didn't fit her. So he got another size, that too didn't fit her. It was either too big or too small. He just could not understand her trick. The moon is never the same size everyday, she goes through different phases from the period of the full moon to the new moon. The poor sun is still trying to get her the right robe.

Chang'e Legend

Chang'e is a Chinese goddess of the moon and lives on it. This story is extremely popular throughout China and is retold during the Chinese Moon Festival on the 15th of the 8th lunar month. Chang'e and her husband Houyi were immortals living in heaven, who were sent to earth to live, as mere mortals by the Jade Emperor as a punishment. Chang'e was saddened by her mortality and wanted to return.

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 video.

To bring back their immortal life, Houyi undertook a long journey to the Queen Mother of the West. She gave him a pill of immortality and warned him against taking it whole.
However, in her greed to become immortal again, Chang'e swallowed the whole pill and started floating into the sky, towards the moon. Houyi could do nothing about it and the two lived separately forever; Chang'e on the moon and Houyi on the earth.

The Necklace Myth

This myth is about a beautiful diamond studded necklace, and the queen who wore it. She would wear it the whole day along and take it out only in the night. She would place the necklace on her bed stand at night, and wore it as soon as she was awake. But one fine day, she couldn't find it there and asked her knights to search for it.
They searched the whole world and found the thief. It was King of Galaxy 32, who had stolen it for himself. The queens knights dueled with the Galaxy king and won the necklace back. She gave it to the knights for safe keeping. And safe it is! We can see it every new moon, glittering in the dark night sky.

Coyote and Eagle Steal the Sun and Moon

This legend is from the time when there was no sun and moon in the sky. It was always dark. The coyote was a lazy hunter, so one day he teamed up with the eagle saying, "Two can catch more than one."
Coyote made excuses for not doing any work by saying, that he couldn't see the prey in the dark and suggested to the eagle to search for some source of light. They traveled to the Red Indian tribe, where the Kachinas (masked dancer) were dancing.
The Kachinas held out two cases which had the sun and moon respectively. The coyote and eagle stole the large box and flew away. The eagle flew with the case a long distance before handing it to the coyote, who out of curiosity opened it.
No sooner had he opened, the two balls of light leaped out. They had stolen both and put it in the same box. The sun flew out and rose into the sky, whereas the moon not knowing where to go, ran in circles around the earth.
Besides the above ancient stories, there are a few modern ones too. No-moon day is believed to affect human behavior resulting in more crimes, accidents, and suicides. Higher birthrates and fertility is also attributed to this celestial body.
In certain oriental countries, the sex of the unborn child is determined according to the particular moon phase it was conceived in. However, old or new, these stories will continue to fascinate us.