Every year on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar, millions of ethnic Chinese celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節, pinyin: Zhōngqiū Jié) around the world. This year it falls on 27th September, but you’ll find that festivities are held throughout the month. It is thought to originate from ancient times when people would worship the Mountain Gods after the harvest was complete.
Today, the festival is celebrated not only to honour the moon and the rewards of the harvest, but to gather with friends and family in a celebration of unity and harmony. One of the traditions (and for me the most exciting part of the festival) includes the making and sharing of mooncakes (月餅, pinyin: yuè bĭng). I absolutely loved eating mooncakes growing up and couldn’t believe how many types and flavours you can get now on my recent trip back to Singapore & Malaysia.
These little beauties are a type of pastry commonly filled with lotus bean paste (蓮蓉, pinyin: lían róng). You’ll also often find ones that contain a salted egg yolk which represents the full moon.
It’s not really a flavour/texture that I’ve found anywhere in Western food culture, so I decided that I would ‘subject’ my colleagues to a bit of a mooncake tasting session. With four flavours to choose from namely green tea, pandan, red lotus and white lotus, who would be able to resist these sweet delights? I definitely wasn’t secretly hoping that no one would like them… just so there would be more left for me! Check out the video below to see their reactions!
Are you a mooncake fan or a mooncake newbie? Either way, we wish you a very happy and mooncake filled Mid-Autumn Festival! 中秋快乐! Zhōngqiū kuàilè!