‘Tis the season – Chinese mid-autumn festival is here again. And this special pastry known as the moon cake is back in the bakery. The moon cake is to China – to what the fruit cake is to America. I cannot say either taste delicious.
Traditional moon cakes have either a filling of red bean or lotus seed paste. The shape of the dessert is supposed to resemble a moon.
The dessert is a symbol of reunion, so families often get together during this time.
A Chinese florist says, “The moon cake first appeared in ancient times as an offering to the moon. At that time, emperors would pay homage to the sun in spring and to the moon in autumn. It was also a custom for the general public to worship or pay homage to the moon in mid autumn in every lunar August. The age-old custom was handed down to later generations and eating moon cakes at the Mid-autumn Festival has become an inseparable part of the celebrations. Various legends about the origin of moon cakes have been circulating in China throughout the ages.”