The moon rabbit is a folklore character that fascinates me because it exists in many cultures around the world.
Throughout various civilizations people have looked up onto the moon and have concluded the same thing, namely that they seen the shape of a rabbit. You can e.g. read stories of the Moon Rabbit from the ancient Aztecs and several eastern cultures.
This post will focus on the Chinese version of the Moon Rabbit, also known as the Jade Rabbit.
In Chinese folklore we follow three immortals who reincarnated themselves into three poor old people. They begged for food from a fox, a monkey and a rabbit. The fox and monkey both gave food to the immortals.
When they approached the rabbit, the rabbit told them that he didn’t have any food. Instead the rabbit told them: “you can eat me” and jumped into the fire. The immortals were so moved by the rabbit’s actions and sent it to the moon to become an immortal jade rabbit.
Ever since, the jade rabbit stayed in the Moon Palace to accompany the Moon goodness Chang’E and produced immortal medicine for those who live in heaven.