Don’t Point at the Moon

The interviewer’s initials are denoted through the initials BD, while the informant’s responses are marked as MW.

MW: My mom told me not to point at the moon. I don’t know why, but she said that if you point at the moon with your hand, your ear will get cut off.

BD:Where did your mom get this belief?

MW: Her mom told her, like my grandma.

BD: Your mom’s from Taiwan, right?

MW: But my grandma is from China.

BD: Is this belief common? Like, do other people believe in it?

MW: I think it’s common, in Taiwan.


Upon researching this piece of folklore further, I found that there is a story that accompanies this belief. The goddess of the moon is angered when she is pointed at, because that is disrespectful to her. As a punishment, she will cut off the pointer’s ear in their sleep. A Taiwanese publication includes this belief in list of some more surprising superstitions: