Detail of an eighteen-century embroidered emperor's robe. In Chinese myth, a white hare was believed to have lived in the moon.
Click on image for full size
Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Heng-o and the Twelve Chinese Moons
In ancient times, Chinese people thought there were twelve Moons
for the twelve months in one year. They also thought there were ten Suns
as there were ten days in the Chinese week.
At the beginning of each month, the mother, Heng-O, washed her children in a lake in the west. Then each moon would travel in a chariot for a
month journey to reach the east side.
There, the Suns would begin their journey. It was believed that the moons were made of water, and either a hare or a toad were living in their interior.
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