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1st Actual Jade Rabbit in the Moon

Today China launched a rocket to the moon hauling a lunar rover named the Jade Rabbit (or Yutu). East Asian cultures have a variety of tales about a jade rabbit who lives in the moon. The Chinese celebrate the story of the jade rabbit at the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. As the full moon rises in the sky, families gather to eat mooncakes (pastries with sweet or savory fillings) as the full moon rises. Here is one version of the jade rabbit’s legend:

If you're going to live on the moon, might as well live in a palace.

If you’re going to live on the moon, might as well live in a palace.

Three magical wise men decide to test the character of a fox, a monkey and a rabbit. The men turn themselves into desperate old beggars and ask the fox, the monkey and the rabbit for food. While the fox and the monkey have food to spare, they refuse to share. But the helpful and generous rabbit, who has nothing to give, volunteers his own tasty self by leaping into a burning campfire to roast himself for their dinner. The men, who are not actually hungry, are overwhelmed by rabbit’s self-sacrifice and generosity and grant him immortal life, sending him to live on the moon in the palace as Jade Rabbit. (Source)

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