Feasting for the Moon Festival
The Chinese Mid-Autumn or ‘Moon’ Festival is traditionally celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month , so this year will take place on Sunday 27th September. The Mid-Autumn festival is the second most important festival after the Spring Festival, and this is recognised with a two day public holiday.
|The full moon is a symbol of peace, prosperity and family reunion. The moon is supposed to at its brightest and fullest on the night of the festival. The tradition is for people to return home from wherever they are in China or the wider world to eat with their their family, admire the full moon and eat mooncakes.|
Mooncakes are traditional Chinese pastries, made of wheat flour and usually with a sweet stuffing. However, they are made in many different flavours and each region has a different style. Fillings depend on local eating culture and tradition. The most popular variations include Cantonese, Suzhou, Beijing, Chaoshan and Ningbo, and modern moon cake flavours include green tea and ice cream.
The moon cake is a symbol of family reunion, and the cake is traditionally cut into pieces that equal to the number of family members.
Mooncakes are named after the moon goddess and in ancient times, were a kind of offering to the moon. In Chinese culture, roundness symbolizes completeness and togetherness. A full moon symbolizes prosperity and reunion for the whole family. Round mooncakes complement the harvest moon in the night sky.
The mooncake is not just a food, but a profound cultural tradition held deep in the hearts of many Chinese. During Mid-Autumn Festival, people eat mooncakes together with family, or present mooncakes to relatives or friends to express love and best wishes.
Other delicaies which are traditionally eaten during the festival are pumpkin (for good health), river snails (to brighten eyes), wine fermented with osmanthus flowers (for a happy life), duck and hairy crab. To find out more about these Mid-Autumn Festival culinary delights, visit this page on the China Highlights website. In the meantime, we wish you a happy Moon Festival, however you choose to celebrate it.