One of the most important traditional Chinese festivals, the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, around the time of the autumn equinox (usually September 22). Many refer to it simply as the "Fifteenth of the Eighth Month." As the full bright moon on that night tends to inspire people's anticipation for a family reunion, it is also called "Festival of Reunion."
This day was also considered as a harvest festival since fruits, vegetables and grain had been harvested by this time and food was abundant. Food offerings were placed on an altar set up in the courtyard. Apples, pears, peaches, grapes, pomegranates, melons, oranges and pomelos might be seen. Special foods for the festival included moon cakes, cooked taro and water caltrope, a type of water chestnut resembling black buffalo horns. Some people insisted that cooked taro be included because at the time of creation, taro was the first food discovered at night in the moonlight. Of all these foods, it could not be omitted from the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The round moon cakes, measuring about three inches in diameter and one and a half inches in thickness, resembled Western fruitcakes in taste and consistency. These cakes were made with melon seeds, lotus seeds, almonds, minced meats, bean paste, orange peels and lard. A golden yolk from a salted duck egg was placed at the center of each cake, and the golden brown crust was decorated with symbols of the festival. Traditionally, thirteen moon cakes were piled in a pyramid to symbolize the thirteen moons of a "complete year," that is, twelve moons plus one intercalary moon.
ALWSCI wishes you a perfect life just like the full moon in Mid-Autumn Day.
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