The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is observed on the Chinese lunar calendar. It has always been celebrated on the first moon of fall, as a time for family and friends, with lanterns lighting up the night. In the long history of Chinese civilization, the festival was born based on three legends, and a historical fact. However, not many people realize that the Japanese also share the same lunar calendar as the Chinese. They celebrate their Moon Festival, as an opportunity for parents to make up for lost time with their children, after harvest season. They too have their mythological legends. The Japanese Moon Festival mythology, "Tsuki no Usagi" (The Moon Rabbit), is similar to Chinese Jade Rabbit legend. However, in Japan, the rabbit pounds mocha, or rice cakes in his pestle rather than the elixir of life.
Every year, the Chinese American Citizens Alliance focuses on a different Asian moon legend for their Mid-Autumn Festival. This year, they bring attention to the Japanese moon legend, "Tsuki No Usagi" (The Moon Rabbit). Clark County middle school and high school students were given the task of interpreting the Japanese legend in the form of art. Clark County is proud to showcase the top three submissions, and then honorable mentions at the Clark County Government Center, 500 S Grand Central Pkwy. We invite you to come out and celebrate with us at the on open reception Sept. 25 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Here is the story of Tsuki no Usagi. Many years ago, the Old Man of the Moon decided to visit Earth. He disguised himself as an old hungry beggar and met with three animals, a fox, a monkey, and a rabbit. He asked them or some food. The monkey climbed a tree and brought him some fruit. The fox went to a stream, caught a fish, and brought it back to him. The rabbit had nothing to offer him, but some grass. So, he asked the beggar to build a fire. After the beggar started the fire, the rabbit jumped into it, and offered himself as a meal, for the beggar to eat. Quickly the beggar changed back into the Old Man of the Moon and pulled the rabbit from the fire. He said, "You are the most kind, rabbit, but don't do anything to harm yourself. Since you were the kindest of all to me, I'll take you back to the moon to live with me". The old man carried the rabbit in his arms back to the moon, and he is still there to this very day, exactly where the old man left him. Just look at the moon in the night sky, and the rabbit is there!
Those wanting more information about the exhibit or any future exhibits can call the Clark County Public Art at (702) 455-8200 or visit www.ClarkCountyNV.gov/parks. Clark County Public Art can also be found on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook by visiting @CCPUBLICARTS.