Festival Food – Mooncakes
Mooncakes are traditionally eaten and given as gifts as part of the Mid Autumn Festival, which occurs on the 15th day of the eighth month. On this day, the moon is said to be at its biggest, brightest and most round.
This Chinese delicacy is a pastry filled with many different fillings. Most traditionally, Mooncakes are filled with sweetened lotus seed paste with the yolks from salted duck eggs suspended in the filling, which signify the full moon. Modern takes on this classic Chinese sweet include fillings of red bean paste, chocolate and ice cream. The cakes are made in a mould, and often bear Chinese characters for ‘Longevity’ or ‘Harmony’. Somehow this sweet dish tastes even more delicious when sat outside admiring the full mid-autumn moon!
We have a wide selection of mooncakes in store and in our online shop, including:
- traditional lotus seed paste mooncakes
- low sugar mooncakes, which makes a nice treat for those who are on a low-sugar diet
- double-yolk mooncakes for those wishing to impress, or to treat themselves
There are many tales associated with the Moon Festival, including a folk story about the overthrow of Mongolian rule in China:
In the 14th century China was under the rule of an oppressive Mongolian regime. Plans for an uprising never made it far as people were not allowed to gather in groups. However, a Chinese rebel leader realised that the Mongols did not eat moon cakes and that this provided an opportunity to arrange a rebellion. In the days leading up to the Moon Festival, moon cakes were distributed to the Chinese people. The mooncakes contained pieces of paper with a message to rise up against the Mongols during the Mid-Autumn Festival. On the night of the Moon Festival, by the light of the full moon, the Chinese people overthrew the Mongols and have continued to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with moon cakes ever since.