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Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It's that time again, this September 22 is the Mid-Autumn Festival aka Mooncake Festival. My friend said something very important whilst we were in bakery where people were clamoring for boxes of these mooncakes. "Why do we celebrate the Mooncake Festival?" Being born and raised in the USA sometimes we are caught too much into mainstream culture that we sometimes forget our heritage's culture and traditions.

That is the first thing I asked my parents. "Why do we celebrate the Mooncake Festival?" My dad replied that in China this was when the rice had ripened and was harvested. The people who worked in the huge rice patties sometimes far away from their families would go back home and celebrate being a family. Coincidentally this is also the month when the moon is at it's fullest and brightest. The moon being whole reflects the time when the family is once again whole. During this time people would celebrate by baking things and eating things that were round... like pomelos and mooncakes. There are also other myths related to this day such as the Goddess Chang'e and the one about the Jade Rabbit.

Mooncakes are these pastries that are normally roundish. Inside has stuffing made from lotus seeds paste with a whole egg yolk in the middle. The outside is thin and flaky and the inside is generally sweet and thick Though nowadays they also make them with all sorts of filling such as red bean, mango, lychee, green tea... to name a few. The one on top is inscribed with the characters indicating the filling inside and the bakery it hails from.

It would be very rare to find mooncakes unless it was from an Asian bakery and they're fairly expensive it's about $20 a box. I was very happy I asked because I had learned the reason on why we have these traditions and holidays. If someone were to ask me why we celebrated the Moon Festival I'd say what my dad said... to celebrate family...

Until next time... have a happy Moon Festival day =)


Pili said...

Those look yummy! I'd love to try Green Tea Mooncakes!

And it's lovely to celebrate a festival that is about the family!

Jennifer Juniper said...

This sounds so interesting - I'd love to taste one of these!

Pesky Cat Designs said...

I recently moved from NYC where I lived most of my life. I loved walking through Chinatown and perusing all the interesting bakery goods. Occasionally I would purchase one not having any idea what it was. lol I would love to try this mooncake!