The Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Cake Festival is one of the biggest celebrations in Chinese cultural traditions. This holiday falls in the Lunar calendar on the 15th day of the 8th month. In 2022 this Mooncake Festival Celebration falls on September 10
The Moon Cake Festival is a celebration to pay homage to the Moon Goddess, where every 15th day of the month, the moon will become a full moon (a full moon and a perfectly round shape). This symbolizes the tradition of togetherness and harmony.
Celebrations usually start in the evening when the full moon is full. Families would gather outside to watch the moon while enjoying mooncakes and tea.
Mid-Autumn Festival Traditions
1. Eating Mooncake (月饼 – yuè bing)
Mooncake is a traditional Chinese food that is a mandatory dish at the Mid-Autumn Festival every year.
In China, many types of moon cakes, with various shapes and flavors, constantly evolving and innovating.
Reporting from tianqi.com, let’s see what types of mooncakes are available in various regions of China:
- Cantonese mooncake (广式月饼)
Cantonese-style mooncakes are a representative type of southern mooncakes. They hail from Guangdong and surrounding areas and are now famous throughout China. This Cantonese-style moon cake is world famous.
The most essential thing is the selection of materials and production techniques are very beautiful and the characteristics of having a thin skin, thick contents. Usually, the ratio of the skin to the filling is 2:8. The skin is thin and soft, the color is golden, the shape is beautiful, the pattern is beautiful, and the taste is soft and smooth.
- Su-style Moon Cake (苏式月饼）
Suzhou is the birthplace of Su-style mooncakes. Su-style mooncakes are made from wheat flour, vegetable oil, or edible lard and are processed through baking, filling, shaping, and baking.
Its main feature is its crunchy and crumbly texture; the filling consists of mashed grains, red bean paste, etc. The sweetness is higher than in other types of mooncakes.
- Yunnan-style Moon Cake（滇式月饼）
Yunnan-style mooncakes originate and are popular in Yunnan, Guizhou, and beyond. Its main characteristic is that the filling is made of ham and flowers.
The surface is oily and beautiful, the cake skin is soft, and the filling is salty and sweet but not greasy.
- Beijing-style Moon Cake（京式月饼）
Comes from Beijing, Tianjin, and surrounding areas and has a particular market in the north.
Its main characteristics are sweetness, and the ratio of skin to filling is 4:6. Its distinctive taste comes from the filling used, sesame oil, sweetness, and crunch.
- Chaozhou-style Moon Cake（朝式月饼）
Chaozhou-style moon cake, also known as Fubing, is a traditional cake in the Chaoshan area of Guangdong Province. This cake is shaped like a puff pastry.
The main characteristic of this moon cake is that the skin is crispy, the filling is thin, the oil is not fatty, and the taste is sweet. According to the type of filling, it can be divided into green beans, black beans, purple sweet potatoes, etc. There is also egg yolk or seafood filling.
2. Lantern (灯笼 – dēng long)
Making lanterns is one of the children’s habits that is carried out at the monthly festival. Various kinds and shapes of lanterns will be lit to make the view at night feel warmer, accompanied by the full moon.
3. Dinner together (宴会 – yàn huì)
The event of gathering with family and having dinner together is a tradition when celebrating this day. They would eat dinner together and eat mooncakes together.
4. Offerings (供奉 – gòng fèng)
At Mid-Autumn Festival, the offerings in the form of fruits, moon cakes, incense, and candles are neatly arranged on a table facing the moon.
Mooncake festival gift guide
Nowadays, the taste of mooncakes varies, from salty to sweet. Choose a mooncake flavor that the entire recipient’s family can enjoy.
Mooncake flavors that can be the best choice are:
- White lotus pastes with yolk: Moon cake with Lotus flower seeds is a traditional type of mooncake. Due to the high price of Lotus flower seeds, this filled moon cake is a luxurious ingredient.
- Red bean paste: Moon cake filled with red bean paste with a distinctive aroma and sweet taste. Red bean moon cake is the best companion for tea, with a strong and bitter taste.
- 5 Nuts with pork: Moon cake filled with a combination of five types of nuts and seeds and roasted pork is a traditional type of moon cake. Five nuts and seeds usually contain almonds, walnuts, gourd seeds, sesame, and pumpkin seeds. These five nuts and seeds moon cakes are mixed with roast pork, with a sweet and salty taste sensation.
- Matcha: This mooncake contains matcha paste. Usually, this mooncake’s color is green. It has a pretty strong tea taste, is not too sweet, and has a refreshing aroma.
2. Fruit basket
Fruit is often given as hampers because it has many vitamins, is healthy, and has cheerful colors. The choices of fruit that can be given are apples, oranges, pineapples, and pears. This fruit basket can be a balancing meal after eating a sweet mooncake.
Since mooncakes have a taste that may be too sweet, a cup of tea can compensate. That is why tea is highly recommended as a gift for the Mooncake Festival.
4. Organic Rice and Olive Oil
People are increasingly paying attention to the nutritional value contained in food. Therefore, organic rice and olive oil are suitable gifts for the Mid-Autumn festival because they are healthy and can be consumed as daily food.
Besides taste, there are other things that need attention when giving Mid-Autumn Festival gifts. We need to pay attention to the age and relationship with the recipient, whether the person is an elder/senior in a family/relative relationship.
Giving the Mid-Autumn Festivals gifts to relatives is a symbol of good luck and a form of prayer and good wishes for those who receive them to always get sustenance, health, and success. Give the best to your loved ones!