Even modern children will probably have heard, at some stage, of the Man in the Moon. He Has featured in the nursery rhyme which begins The Man in the Moon came down too soon. His smiling face has often been depicted.
But what was the original legend of the Man in the Moon? In fact, there were a number. The Romans said simply that he was put on the moon for purloining sheep. In German tradition he was placed there as a punishment for gathering faggots on the Sabbath. The Germans also said there was a Woman in the Moon, exiled there because she made butter on a Sunday. Norse tradition spoke of Máni, which actually signified the moon, but sounded like the word man found in Teutonic languages and this may have helped build up the verbal combination of Man in the Moon. Coming behind him is the wolf Hati, who is destined to catch him at Ragnarok. Another North European tradition is that he captured two children called Hjuki and Bil. He was sometimes accompanied by a dog.
In East Asian lore, the moon is tenanted by a rabbit.
The Moon as seen from earth has numerous markings and it is only natural, especially considering its roundness, that the brains of those who gazed at it shaped these features into a face. From that, we can easily guess how the concept of a Man in the Moon was formed.
For details of the nursery rhyme, follow the link below.
now read on.....