The man in the moon, or is it a hare? Lunar expressions for the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing
It’s been quite a year for anniversaries - fifty years ago this weekend, on 20 July 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to set foot on the moon, to the amazement of the world.
Until the moon landings, the moon was swathed in superstition. And while in the west we might talk about the man in the moon, in many parts of the world, it’s traditional for people to see a hare or a rabbit. Apollo 11 landed in the Sea of Tranquility – which is apparently the rabbit’s head, with the Sea of Nectar and the Sea of Fertility as the creature’s ears. In Maori and Samoan folk tales, it isn’t a man in the moon, but a girl or a woman.