Watch the moon rabbit pound medicine and pray for peace and health

White rabbit pounding medicine autumn rejuvenation" "rabbit cold toad cold osmanthus white" ... The poems of Li Bai and Li Shangyin have been passed down through the ages. The legend of Chang'e Shu Guang Sleeve and Moon Rabbit Guarding the Cold Palace is something that many people have heard of in childhood. This legend has been passed down for at least two thousand years, and the vivid image of the moon rabbit pounding medicine by the Han Dynasty can still be found today in the Han Que at the foot of Song Mountain.

Watch the moon rabbit pound medicine and pray for peace and health

Moon rabbit pounding medicine on Shaomuro Que (taken on May 6, 2019) Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Zhai Xiang

Song Mountain is composed of Mount Taimuro and Mount Shaomuro, overlooking Heluo, majestic and magnificent. In summer, Dayu set up a capital at the foot of the mountain; During the Zhou Dynasty, the Duke of Zhou sought the earth by measuring the shadow of the sun and the fourth time, and Songshan thus became the "heaven and earth" in the hearts of the ancients; During the Han Dynasty, Emperor Wudi of Han, who came to worship, named several giant cypresses "generals", two of which are still flourishing today; During the Northern Dynasty, the fifteen-story Songyue Temple Pagoda was built here, which is one of the oldest surviving pagodas in China...

As a source of humanities, Songshan has witnessed the birth and gathering of Chinese civilization for thousands of years.

As a high-level building in ancient times, it was often placed in front of palace gates, ancestral temples or mausoleums. During the Eastern Han Dynasty, in order to worship Song Mountain and commemorate Dayu, people built stone gates in front of the three ancestral temples of Tai Chamber, Shao Chamber and Qi Mu under Song Mountain, and nearly 1900 years later, the three stone gates still stand majestically, telling the story behind the rabbit pounding medicine in the moon.

The motifs engraved on the Shaomuro Que include solemn symbols such as dragons and tigers, as well as life scenes such as kicking and hunting. And especially cute is a scene of the moon rabbit pounding medicine - in a full moon, on the left, the toad is comfortable, and on the right, the rabbit is holding a pestle pounding medicine. If you stop and hold your breath, you seem to be able to hear the sound of medicine pounding in the Moon Palace.

Watch the moon rabbit pound medicine and pray for peace and health

Shaomuroque (Photo taken on May 6, 2019) Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Zhai Xiang

When did the legend of the rabbit in the moon originate?

As early as the Warring States period, the myth that there were rabbits on the moon was formed. Qu Yuan wrote in Tianwen that the moon was "Gu Shu in the belly", and although "dodder" also refers to a toad or a tiger, successive dynasties generally agree with Eastern Han scholars that the "dodder" here is a rabbit.

Watch the moon rabbit pound medicine and pray for peace and health

Mid-moon image in the painting of the tomb of Mawangdui Han in Changsha Photo courtesy of Hunan Museum

In the early Western Han dynasty paintings unearthed from the Mawangdui Han tomb in Changsha, there are toads with lingzhi mouths and running rabbits in the moon. Liu Qingzhu, member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and distinguished professor of Zhengzhou University, introduced that the Ganquan Palace in Chunhua County, Xianyang, was an important place for Emperor Wudi of Han to escape the summer and manage government, and it was also a place where ancient ancestors worshiped the sky, and the Han Dynasty ruins here have also unearthed such ornamented waddang.

Watch the moon rabbit pound medicine and pray for peace and health

  Toad jade rabbit Wadang unearthed at the site of Ganquan Palace Photo courtesy of Chunhua County Museum of Culture

"In the Han Dynasty, rabbits with Yin attributes were regarded as moon beasts." Xiao Fang, a professor at Beijing Normal University and head of the Department of Anthropology and Folklore at the School of Sociology, said.

The image of the rabbit in the middle of the month in the Western Han Dynasty is mostly running, while in the Eastern Han Dynasty, the rabbit in the middle of the month mostly appears as the image of pounding medicine. How does this evolve? "The running rabbit is an animal that is visible every day, and the medicine rabbit is a fetish imagined by the Han Dynasty." Xiao Fang introduced that rabbit pounding with strong fertility is a social psychological projection of looking forward to health and population growth.

Zheng Xianxing, a professor at Nanyang Normal University, said that in the Han Dynasty Lefu poems, there were verses about white rabbits kneeling and pounding medicine, and in the Wei and Jin dynasties, there was a discussion of "white rabbits pounding medicine, prosperity and prosperity", and in Han Dynasty artistic images, rabbits often appeared in the middle of the moon or next to the Queen Mother of the West, who was in charge of immortal medicine, pounding medicine alone or with toads.

Zheng Xianxing analyzed that the image of rabbits pounding medicine may be because the ancients saw the action of rabbits chewing grass and associated it with the preparation of herbs, and then believed that rabbits can bring people healthy and longevity medicine.

Gong Songtao, vice president of the Songshan Cultural Research Association, said: "The image of the moon rabbit pounding medicine on the Shaomuroque reflects that the rabbit has been a particularly favorite animal of Chinese since ancient times, which is closely related to social and cultural aesthetics, and is an auspicious symbol of peace and health. ”

Whether running or pounding medicine, whether in ancient books or in Hanque, the Moon Rabbit carries Chinese's yearning for a better life, spanning thousands of years and continuing to this day.

(Source: Xinhua Viewpoint)

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