Mid-Autumn Festival


Photo credit: John Loo

Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋节 Zhōngqiū jié

中秋节 Zhōngqiū jié falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar (usually around mid- or late-September in the Gregorian calendar). This year, it is celebrated on the 15th September 2016. It is a date that parallels the Autumn and Spring Equinoxes of the solar calendar. The traditional food of this festival is the mooncake.

Farmers celebrate the end of the summer harvesting season on this date. Traditionally, on this day, Chinese family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, and eat moon cakes and pomeloes together. Accompanying the celebration, there are additional cultural or regional customs, such as: Eating moon cakes outside under the moon, carrying brightly lit lanterns, lighting lanterns on towers, floating sky lanterns.

Other activities also include planting Mid-Autumn trees, collecting dandelion leaves and distributing them evenly among family members and watching fire Dragon Dances.

Mooncakes are Chinese pastry traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival. 
Typical mooncakes are round or rectangular pastries, measuring about 10 cm in diameter and 4-5 cm thick. A thick filling usually made from lotus seed paste is surrounded by a relatively thin (2-3 mm) crust and may contain yolks from salted duck eggs. Mooncakes are rich, heavy, and dense compared with most Western cakes and pastries. They are usually eaten in small wedges accompanied by Chinese tea.

Here's a video to share with you of the process of how mooncakes are made, enjoy watching with a cup of Chinese tea :)

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