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Holidays to China with China Tours to experience the region’s cultural heritage and ancient legends

Industry: Travel

On December 14th 2013, China took a major leap in it’s ambitions towards space exploration by landing a spacecraft called Chang’e on the moon.

United Kingdom (PRUnderground) January 12th, 2014

Subsequently the spacecraft Chang’e unlocked its docking mechanism with its lunar rover named Jade Rabbit driving across the lunar surface. The spacecraft and lunar rover were named as a result of an online poll. Both Chang’e and Jade Rabbit are from ancient Chinese legends. Chang’e was a beautiful young woman married to a hero King called Hou Yi, who was obsessed with immortality. The King ordered an elixir to be created to prolong his life. The elixir in the form of a single pill was almost ready when Chang’e came upon it. She accidentally swallowed the pill, which then made her float in to the sky towards the moon. The King missed his beloved wife terribly.  From then onwards, he set up a table in her favourite garden of his palace with cakes in the shape of the moon, to remember her on the day of the full moon on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, which is also the origin of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.

The moon is a remote and lonely place, but Chang’e does have a companion, the Jade Rabbit, which is also from an ancient Chinese legend. The mythological white hare was originally from the earth. The legend goes: when an old man begged for food, the monkey gathered fruits from the trees and the otter collected fish, while the rabbit, who knew only how to gather grass, instead offered his own body by throwing himself onto a fire the man had built. The rabbit, however, was not burnt. The old man revealed himself to be the almighty God.  Touched by the rabbit’s virtue, God elevated the rabbit to the moon and said: “You may be just a rabbit, but everyone will remember you.  There will be your image in the light for all the people on earth at all times”.

Coincidentally, when Apollo 11 landed on the moon over four decades ago, the Houston Control asked the then astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin to look for “a beautiful Chinese girl called Chang-o, who has been living there for 4000 years and her companion, a large Chinese rabbit standing on his hind feet in the shade of a cinnamon tree”.

For thousands of years in Chinese history, the moon has been a focal point of myths, dreams, hopes and fantasies, as well as boundless human creativity.  The Chinese culture and language are embroidered with lunar idioms.

James Zhang, MD of China Tours Ltd commented: “Travel to China is in itself a cultural experience. Our China holidays and tour packages are rich in content, which often unveil the fascinating insights into the region’s cultural heritage, which will surely inspire tales of your own”.

About China Tours Ltd

China Tours Ltd is a UK registered operator with over ten years experience of organising holidays to China. The destination of China inspires, fascinates and enchants travellers with its rich, diverse and often mysterious landscape and culture. Our tailor made private China holidays and small group tours give you an insight into China’s thousand years’ imperial past as you tour the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, and the Terracotta Warriors. You will also experience the tranquil and magical countryside around Guilin and Yangshuo, as well as the vibrant Shanghai, explore the natural habitat of the giant pandas and cruise the mighty Yangtze River through the spectacular Three Gorges. Visit and let’s discover China together.

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James Zhang
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