Old Stories About the Moon: Legends and Folklore from Around the World

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Old Stories About the Moon: Legends and Folklore from Around the World

“Yours is the light by which my spirit’s born:—
— you are my sun, my moon, and all my stars.”
– E.E. Cummings

The moon has captivated humanity for centuries, its mystique and beauty often inspiring tales of wonder and enchantment. Cultures around the world have woven intricate stories and legends about the moon, attributing it with magical powers and connecting it to various mythological figures. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most intriguing and well-known old stories about the moon.

The Moon in Greek Mythology

Greek mythology is rich with stories featuring gods and goddesses, and the moon held a significant place in their narratives. Selene, the Titan goddess of the moon, was said to drive a silver chariot through the night sky, bathing the world in her radiant light. She was revered for her beauty and often associated with the night and all things mysterious.

Another popular Greek myth about the moon involves Artemis, the goddess of the hunt. Known for her fierce independence and skill with a bow, Artemis was believed to possess the power to control the moon’s movements. She was often depicted as a huntress roaming through the forests under the moonlight, accompanied by her loyal hunting dogs.

These ancient Greek stories demonstrate the significance of the moon in their culture, its celestial presence intertwined with tales of power and beauty.

East Asian Moon Legends

East Asian cultures also have their own fascinating stories and legends surrounding the moon. In China, the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is celebrated to honor Chang’e, the Moon Goddess. According to Chinese legend, she drank an elixir of immortality, transforming her into a celestial being and banishing her to the moon. During the festival, people gather with their families to appreciate the beauty of the full moon and share mooncakes, a traditional delicacy.

In Japan, the moon holds prominent significance in various forms of art and literature. One beloved tale is that of the Moon Rabbit, or Tsuki no Usagi. This story tells of a rabbit that resides on the moon, pounding rice cakes with a mortar and pestle. The Moon Rabbit is an embodiment of kindness in Japanese folklore and serves as a symbol of harmony and compassion.

Native American Moon Stories

Native American tribes have a deep reverence for celestial bodies and a profound connection to the natural world. The moon, known as Grandmother Moon in some traditions, features prominently in their mythology.

The Navajo people have a legend that tells of how the moon was created. According to their myth, a young girl wished to be taken up into the sky, so the Holy People transformed her into the moon to fulfill her desire. They placed her there to provide light during the night and guide lost souls on their journey.

In Lakota Sioux folklore, Iktomi, the Trickster figure, is responsible for bringing the moon to the people. In one story, Iktomi captures the moon, who was initially reluctant, and gifts it to a group of children, enabling them to possess its power and wisdom.

European Moon Myths

Across Europe, various cultures have crafted their own tales about the moon, highlighting its influence on everything from love to madness.

In Irish folklore, the moon is associated with the Faeries, mystical beings who are said to dwell in ancient stone circles and other sacred places. It is believed that they emerge under the moonlight to dance and frolic in the forests, creating an enchanting spectacle for those lucky enough to witness it.

One of the most well-known aspects of moon mythology in Europe is the supposed link between the moon and lycanthropy, or werewolves. According to legend, during the full moon, humans with a certain curse transform into wolf-like creatures, embarking on a night of terror and bloodlust.

The Moon’s influence on Human Culture

Throughout history, the moon has held a significant influence on human culture. From inspiring art and poetry to guiding the navigation of ancient mariners, its presence has shaped our understanding of the world. Scientists and astronomers continue to unlock the secrets of the moon, deepening our understanding of celestial bodies and their impact on our lives.

As we gaze up at the night sky, we can’t help but wonder about the old stories and legends that have been passed down through generations. The moon’s allure will forever inspire our imaginations and kindle our curiosity about the mysteries of the universe.


The moon’s enduring presence in human culture is a testament to its mesmerizing beauty and the power it holds over our collective imagination. From ancient Greek myths to Native American legends, old stories about the moon continue to fascinate and intrigue people around the world. As we look up at the night sky, let us embrace the wonder and enchantment that the moon inspires, connecting us to the rich tapestry of human history and the vast expanses of the universe.

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Old Stories About the Moon: Legends and Folklore from Around the World