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Survey says 17 Chang Es, 32,000 Wu Gangs in China
2007-09-25 02:09:13 Shanghai Daily

CHINA has 17 people named Chang E while 32,000 are named Wu Gang according to a survey conducted by a service center in Beijing that offers information about domestic residents' identity card numbers, the Beijing Daily reports.

The survey was conducted for this year's Middle Autumn Festival, which is today.

The festival was set up to remember Chang E, a guardian Goddess of the palace on the moon in a Chinese fairy tale. She was almost one of the only live beings on the moon, with a white rabbit being her only companion.

Chang E, who used to be a human being on Earth, was the wife of Hou Yi, the hero who shot down nine suns to save Chinese people from being burnt. The tenth sun then rose and fell following Hou Yi's orders.

Chang E took a mysterious medicine to avoid a bad person from getting it. She then became a Goddess who would never become old or die. But she had to live lonely and cold life on the moon.

Hou Yi missed his wife very much, so every year he set a table full of dishes to remember Chang E on the day she flew to the moon. The date was the 15th day of the eighth month on the Chinese calendar, or the Moon Festival.

Wu Gang was sent to the moon as punishment. He was ordered to cut the branch of a bay tree.

The tree, however, had a strong power for regeneration. If one of its branches was cut off, a new grew immediately.

Wu Gang had to repeatedly do the same work that would never end.

Chinese families will have a get-together on the day of festival to have dinner and mooncakes and enjoy the big, round, bright moon.

Zhang Jiulin, a famous poet during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) wrote a famous verse for the festival: We are looking at the same bright moon rising from the sea level tonight, though we may be far apart. It makes me feel we are so close to each other.

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