Chinese Culture

Traditional Chinese Legend: Chang’e Flying to the Moon (嫦娥奔月)

The legend of the Moon Goddess Chang’e Flying to the Moon holds a significant place in Chinese culture. However, were you aware that this legend exists in several variations? In this article, we will delve into three distinct renditions of the tale.

一个叫做后羿的英雄出现了,他力大无穷,善于射箭。他登上高山,运足力气,一口气用弓箭射掉了9个太阳。A hero named Hou Yi emerged during this crisis. He possessed extraordinary strength and exceptional archery skills. He ascended a high mountain, exerting all his strength, and in one breath, he shot down nine of the suns with his bow and arrows.
大家都很感谢后羿的举动,也佩服他的能力,很多人拜他为师,跟他学习射箭等武艺。有一位神仙也很喜爱后羿,她送了后羿一个药丸,并告诉他吃了这个药丸可以长生不老,飞到天上变成神仙。 但是后羿没有吃下药丸,因为他舍不得离开自己的妻子。Hou Yi’s courageous act earned him immense gratitude and admiration from the people. Many sought him as a mentor to learn archery and other martial skills. There was also a celestial being who held a deep affection for Hou Yi. She gifted him a pill that would grant him immortality, ascend to the heavens, and become a celestial being. However, Hou Yi did not consume the pill, as he couldn’t bear the thought of leaving his beloved wife behind.
后羿的妻子叫做嫦娥,是一个美丽善良的女人,她经常帮助村里的乡亲们,大家都很喜欢她。后羿和嫦娥非常相爱,他不想变成神仙而留下嫦娥一个人,所以他让嫦娥把药丸藏在一个盒子里。Hou Yi’s wife, Chang’e, was a beautiful and kind-hearted woman who often helped the villagers. She was greatly loved by all. Hou Yi and Chang’e deeply loved each other. Hou Yi didn’t want to become a celestial being and leave Chang’e alone. So, he asked Chang’e to hide the pill in a box.
后羿有一个徒弟名叫“逢蒙”,他不知怎么知道了药丸的事情,想方设法地想要得到药丸。Hou Yi had a disciple named Feng Meng, who somehow learned about the existence of the pill and became determined to obtain it for himself.
八月十五这天,趁着后羿不在家时,逢蒙闯进了后羿的家,用剑逼迫嫦娥交出药丸。嫦娥想,要是这样的坏人吃了药丸,变得长生不老,那么不是会伤害更多人吗?所以她坚决不交出药丸。On the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, while Hou Yi was away from home, Feng Meng seized the opportunity and broke into their house, wielded his sword, and demanded Chang’e hand over the pill. Chang’e thought to herself, “If such a wicked person were to consume the pill and become immortal, wouldn’t it bring harm to more people?” And so, she firmly refused to surrender the pill.
逢蒙只好自己四处翻找。嫦娥看到逢蒙马上就要找到药丸了,她情急之下拿出药丸,把它塞进了嘴里。嫦娥吃了药丸之后,立刻就飞了起来,越飞越高,一直向月亮飞去。Feng Meng, left with no choice, began searching everywhere himself. Upon seeing that Feng Meng was about to find the pill, Chang’e, in a moment of desperation, took out the pill and swallowed it. Immediately after consuming the pill, Chang’e began to ascend, flying higher and higher until she reached the moon.
后羿外出回来,发现家里被翻得乱七八糟,嫦娥也不在家,他很着急,冲出门外寻找嫦娥,怎么找也找不到。他突然抬头看到明亮的月亮,月亮上嫦娥正深情地看着自己。他这才明白,原来嫦娥吃了药丸,变成了天上的神仙,再也不能回来了。Upon returning home, Hou Yi found his house in disarray, and Chang’e was nowhere to be found. Filled with anguish, he rushed outside and searched for Chang’e, but she was nowhere to be seen. It was then that he looked up and saw the bright moon, where Chang’e was gazing lovingly back at him. Hou Yi finally understood that Chang’e had consumed the pill, and ascended to the heavens as a celestial being, forever beyond his reach.
后羿和乡亲们都很想念嫦娥,每年的八月十五,他们就聚在一起,并在院子里摆上嫦娥喜欢的食物,对着月亮思念嫦娥。Hou Yi and the villagers deeply missed Chang’e. Each year, on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month, they would gather together, set up Chang’e’s favorite foods in the courtyard, and gaze at the moon while missing her deeply.
其实,在民间,嫦娥奔月的故事流传着多个版本,上面的这个版本是最被大众接受的一个。另外的版本显得这个故事没有那么的美好。Actually, there are multiple versions of the story of Chang’e flying to the moon among the people. The story mentioned earlier is the most widely accepted one. Other versions present the story in a less favorable light.
版本2Version 2
后羿的妻子叫做嫦娥,她是一个美丽的女人。她知道丈夫后羿获得了可以变成神仙的药丸,并且药丸只有一个,她就想偷吃药丸,自己变成神仙。有一天,趁着丈夫不在家,她找到药丸,把它塞进嘴里。吃了药丸后,她就飞到了月亮上。她虽然变成了神仙,长生不老,却只能自己孤独地生活在寒冷的月球上。Hou Yi’s wife was named Chang’e, and she was a beautiful woman. When she learned that her husband Hou Yi had obtained a pill that could turn someone into a celestial being, and there was only one pill available, she wanted to secretly consume the pill and become a celestial being herself. One day, taking advantage of her husband’s absence, she found the pill and swallowed it. After consuming the pill, she flew to the moon. Although she became a celestial being and achieved eternal youth, she could only live a lonely life on the cold moon.
版本3Version 3
后羿没有吃下药丸,因为他想先待在人间,他喜欢享受大家把他敬为英雄的氛围。不仅很多男性想要拜他为师,学习武艺。很多女性也对他心生爱慕。However, Hou Yi didn’t consume the pill because he wanted to stay in the mortal realm (first) / preferred to stay in the mortal realm. He enjoyed the admiration of others who revered him as a hero. Not only did many men wish to become his disciples and learn martial arts from him, but many women also felt attracted to him.
后羿虽然家有一位美貌的妻子,叫做嫦娥。但他还是出轨了,和其她女人有暧昧的行为。嫦娥听说后非常生气,偷吃了药丸,自己变成了神仙,然后飞到月球上居住,变成了月亮仙子。Although Hou Yi had a beautiful wife named Chang’e, he still had affairs and had questionable relationships with other women. When Chang’e learned about this, she became furious. She secretly consumed the pill herself and transformed into a celestial being. Then she flew to the moon and lived there, becoming the Moon Goddess.
你更喜欢哪个版本的故事,或者哪个版本的故事更合理呢?Which version of the story do you prefer, or which version do you find more reasonable?