China’s Mid- Autumn Festival
Today is September 19 which means that people all over China are celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival. What does it mean? For us, it is another day off work, for Chinese it is a very important tradition which carries a strong connection to the full moon (that is why it is called the Moon Festival in honour of the moon). The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar.
This Festival which is a national bank holiday in all provinces in China, features the amazing idea of seeing the same moon phase on or around the same date. At this day, all family members gather together to pray and have a dinner and afterwards children carry lanterns and stroll in parks or gardens or release them into the sky.
Mid-Autumn Festival is often called the Mooncake Festival for a traditional baked delicacy exchanged among family and friends.
5 small mooncakes wrapped in a bag
Mooncakes have round shape which symbolize unity and completeness. They come with difference sizes from very tiny to very massive ones (from 10 to 20 cm in diameter and 4-6 cm thick).
Middle-sized mooncake and its round shape
During the Mid-Autumn Festival, the head of the family cuts the mooncakes into pieces and distributes them to each family member, signifying family reunion.
Mooncakes are usually kept in traditional Chinese boxes so that they can look beautiful as a gift.
The box where mooncakes are kept
Inside the box
Every mooncake has a very rich thick filling usually made from lotus seed paste and red bean. It has a thin crust and might contain salted duck eggs and yolks. The filling can be also made of sugar, jujube paste, ham, fruit or cream.
A mooncake cut into half
They are usually eaten in small wedges accompanied by traditional Chinese tea.
Our Mooncake Experience
We have given about 20 different mooncakes from parents and teachers from our kindergarten, Chinese friends and neighbors. They will probably last till the next Mid-Autumn Festival.
Enjoying our mooncakes
We both enjoy them a lot, but you can’t have too much of them as they are way too sweet and they make you feel sick if you eat too much of them at one go. They are very heavy for the cakes and its thick consistency makes you wanna drink a lot of water.
There are approximately 1.000 kcal in each mooncake and their prices are between RMB 10 ($1.60) and RMB 50 ($8).