Mooncakes (Mid-Autumn Festival)

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar, corresponding to the night of the full moon. Also known as the Moon Festival, this is believed that this day in which the moon is at its fullest and brightest.

In the festival, a very important food item is the mooncake. The mooncakes can be sacrificed to the moon for offering or be eaten for celebration.The round shape embodies the reunion of a family, which is reunited at the time of the festival for celebration. During the festival, mooncakes are commonly bought and gifted to friends and families.

Mooncakes – tea & chestnut, longan, oolong tea, green tea, jasmine, and pomelo


Snow skin mooncake with lotus paste filling

The first set of mooncakes came in with a box full of tea and fruit flavors. They were tasty, better than the ones commonly sold with lotus paste and egg yolks inside them, which I don’t like. My flavor preferences are biased towards either savory or sweet, not together. Out of all the flavors, I liked oolong, pomelo, and green tea flavors the best. If mooncakes were more like this, then mooncakes wouldn’t have so much of a divide in opinions as some deemed mooncakes the Chinese version of fruitcakes.

The snow skin mooncake was too sweet for me. The skin itself was already sweet that the lotus paste filling combined altogether made the mooncake nauseating to eat. As a result, it’s not my cup of tea. Perhaps, if I drank tea with the mooncake, the bitter taste would balance out the sweetness?

Delving in the background of the holiday, the festival derives from the customs of moon sacrificial ceremonies. Observing that the movement of the moon was correlated with the changes of the seasons and agricultural production, sacrifices were made to the moon on autumn days to express appreciation and gratitude. 

Several stories and legends were inspired by the moon. The legend of Lady Chang E is particularly commemorated by the festival. In the legend, Lady Chang E drank her husband’s elixir of immortality, and as a result, flew to the moon.


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