Sunday, September 14, 2008

Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

This is the mini Chinese moon cake. The regular size is about 3 times of the size of this one, which will be about the size of your palm. It always comes with 4 of them in one box. I know that I can't finish the whole box. And I am so glad that I saw my Chinese store having the mini size and sold one at a time instead of a box.

Different bakery has different design of the moon cake.

The stuffing of traditional moon cake is the mashed lotus seed which has the similar flavor and texture of the stuffing of Shoofly pie.

The common package of a moon cake. Mostly, they are packed in a tin box. In the last decades, there were a lot of twists on the stuffing and looks of moon cakes. It could be mashed sweet red bean, green beans, ice-cream and so forth.

This is a mold for making moon cake. Chinese pastry chef always prepares the stuffing ahead of time and let it cool down. Then, they will wrap a piece of pastry, which is very similar to certain pie crust texture, around the stuffing. Put it into the mold and flaten it out. Then, it becomes the moon cake. All they need to do is to bake it.

Today is the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival which is my all-time favorite festival next to Christmas. I bought the Chinese moon cakes last week so that I can celebrate it later tonight.

Like the Chinese New Year, this festival is all about family gathering. When we were kids, my parents always took us to somewhere with the lanterns to celebrate. One year, we went to a beach. That was the most memorable one. I still remembered the sea of candles that lighted up the whole beach. It was gorgeous. I hope next year or so, I can go back home to celebrate it with my family.

There were a lot of legends about the origin of this festival. One of them was about a lady, called "Chang'e" taking a kind of medicine which made her to raise to the moon.

But in the Yuan dynasty, people wanted to overthrow the Mongols. By stuffing a message into the moon cake and pass around.
Nowadays, Mid-Autumn festival becomes one of the most money-spending festivals. People buy moon cakes for their family and friends. Moon cake is a very big market for businesses. For children, they always make sure that parents get them plenty of candles and lanterns.

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