Every mid-August, Mooncake Festival rolls around, and Malaysians get to enjoy all the different types of mooncakes.\u00a0 Is there a deep religious significance to Mooncake Festival? Not really. For most Malaysians, it's just a lighthearted and fun thing to do amongst family and friends.\u00a0 If you ask a regular Malaysian on the street, you\u2019ll get various answers on the history of the mooncake and what it represents. Chang Er and Her Lover Probably the most well-known of the legends is the one about a woman named Chang Er.\u00a0 \u201cGrowing up, I was told this story of Chang Er and her lover where she ascended to the moon and resided there, separating the two lovers until only Mid Autumn festival comes around,\u201d said Clement. The Greedy Emperor Who Wanted To Be Immortal\u00a0 There\u2019s the legend of an emperor who wanted immortality, which is basically intertwined with the legend of Chang Er.\u00a0 \u201cThe emperor want immortality so he procured two doses of herbs, one for him and one for Chang Er. Change Er didn\u2019t think it was good for the people to suffer under a tyrant, so she snuck both doses and consumed them,\u201d recounted Carol, a webcomic editor. While the main lesson from that story was: "Don't be a greedy emperor who wants immortality,\u201d it did also make her wonder: "Will overdosing on medicine make you fly to the moon?"\u00a0 The Princess And The Rabbit As I asked more Malaysians to remember their mooncake legends, we started getting into Disney movie material.\u00a0 \u201cWithout looking at Google, my understanding is that long ago there was a princess and a rabbit from the moon. And they couldn't be together so one made the other a mooncake? Or was it that the rabbit on the moon who made cakes for the Chinese princess?\u201d said Ariff, doubtfully. \u201cEither way, I think mooncakes are celebrating the harvest moon, where the moon is the biggest and brightest,\u201d he concluded more confidently. How Chang Er and The Rabbit Are Related The full story involving Chang Er and the rabbit is actually quite interesting, as explained by Michelle, a Chinese myth buff: \u201cLegend has it that the immortality pill is guarded by this woodcutter named Wu Gang. He is only allowed to give out this pill to deities every 1000 years.\u201d\u00a0 \u201cOne day he offended the Emperor of Heaven, and as punishment, was directed to cut down a peach tree on the moon that would grow back every day. So he has to cut down the tree forever.\u201d \u201cThere was a job vacancy for a new custodian, so three lesser deities were assigned by the Emperor of Heaven to find a suitable candidate." \u201cThe three deities narrowed down the list to a monkey, fox and a rabbit, and as a test, asked them to bring something of value to them to contribute to the recipe for the immortality pill.\u201d \u201cThe rabbit had nothing to offer, so he offered his body and cast it into the fire. Impressed by this display of sacrifice, the deities made him immortal and made him the new custodian.\u201d I thought that was the end of the story, but there's more. \u201cOne day the rabbit himself made a mistake, and was exiled to the moon as a result. The Empress of Heaven gave two immortality pills to the human emperor Hou Yi, whose wife was Chang Er. Chang Er ate both pills by mistake, and that\u2019s how she ended up on the moon with the rabbit.\u201d Point At The Moon, Get A Cut On Your Ear Some other legends were more like corrective behaviour disguised as a scary story told by well-meaning parents. \u201cWhenever I saw a full moon I\u2019d point at it, to try to get my parents to look. They would smack my hands and chide me, saying: "The moon will punish you and cut your ear!" \u201cTrue enough, I'd wake up the day after with a paper cut right around the earlobes. Mum would then apply some nice soothing ointment on it to make me feel better, haha!\u201d \u201cAnd during Mooncake festival the moon is usually full, so that's when it's an absolute no-no to point at it.\u201d Looking back, Nicki mused that it was probably a lesson to teach us not to point at people or at things. Hiding Messages inside Mooncakes Mooncakes were also a feature of a few stories about ancient Chinese history. Delilah, who read up on the history of mooncakes, explained it to me: \u201cActually, it\u2019s about the people from the Yuan dynasty not happy with the government and they hid notes in cakes that said \u2018On 15th august we fight\u2019 to the volunteer army to overthrow the government of the day.\u201d\u00a0 Reunion Of Family\u00a0 There\u2019s certainly a lot of unique stories surrounding the mooncakes we\u2019ve come to simply enjoy. At the end of the day, these legends simply are there to enrich our understanding of history while we enjoy a tasty dessert with our loved ones. \u201cAll in all, I guess it's about reunion, because everything's round.\u00a0 So we gather round and eat round mooncakes watching the round moon,\u201d said Christina. The word "yuan" means both \u2018round\u2019 and \u2018reunion\u2019 in Mandarin. What are the mooncake stories told to you as a child? Tell us in the comments here or on Facebook! For more articles about culture and traditions, read Here\u2019s Why Malaysians Do These 3 Things During Hungry Ghost Month and 8 Signs Your Family Believes in Chinese New Year Superstitions.