We’re going to Canton Cafe in Kingsland for dinner tonight with the extended family in celebration of the Moon Festival (12 September 2011). Canton Cafe is one of my all time favourite restaurants and we’re super lucky that we live within a hop and a skip.
One of the icons of the Moon Festival is the Moon Rabbit. I kid you not. I didn’t make this up. It’s on Wikipedia, so it must be true. 😉
The Moon rabbit, also called the Jade Rabbit, in folklore is a rabbit that lives on themoon, based on pareidolia that identifies the markings of the moon as a rabbit. The story exists in many cultures, particularly in East Asian folklore, where it is seen pounding in a mortar and pestle.
I like to think that there is a culinary rabbit on the moon working away with it’s mortar and pestle. Maybe that is where the phrase “moon dust” comes from?
Cultures that have the moon rabbit are Chinese, Japanese, Buddhist, Mexican and Native American (Cree).
Also from Wiki:
The moon rabbit was mentioned in the conversation between Houston and the Apollo 11 crew just before the first moon landing:
Houston: Among the large headlines concerning Apollo this morning there’s one asking that you watch for a lovely girl with a big rabbit. An ancient legend says a beautiful Chinese girl called Chang-o has been living there for 4000 years. It seems she was banished to the moon because she stole the pill of immortality from her husband. You might also look for her companion, a large Chinese rabbit, who is easy to spot since he is always standing on his hind feet in the shade of a cinnamon tree. The name of the rabbit is not reported.
Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin (LMP): Okay, we’ll keep a close eye for the bunny girl.
I couldn’t help but see a crescent moon in a coffee cup stain this morning…