Thursday’s Google Doodle celebrates a festival that dates back more than a thousand years to the Tang dynasty in the 600s.
The Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month in the traditional East Asian lunar calendar, brings families together to share a meal under the fall harvest moon.
The doodle illustrates the moon goddess Chang’e and her jade rabbit companion as they dance upon the moon’s surface. As legend goes, she levitated all the way to the moon after an overdose of “the elixir of life” where she was doomed to spend eternity with a lumberjack and the rabbit.
In cultures around East Asia, offerings of fruits, wine and moon cakes are made to the mythical goddess to give thanks for the bountiful harvest to come.