The Mid Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, takes place on the 15th day of the 8th month based on the Chinese lunar calendar. It occurs at the time of the year when the moon is at its fullest and brightest, and in 2015 this Chinese holiday falls on September 27.
There are plenty of legends and history behind this fall celebration, but what I remember the most while growing up were the moon cakes that my mom made. Moon cakes are round pastries with a firm, glazed dough with filling such as red bean paste, lotus bean paste, and even fruit, nuts, and meat. The round shape of the moon cakes symbolizes “reunion,” and as such people give them to friends and relatives to wish them a joyful and long life.
Though Chinese grocery stores sell moon cakes during the weeks surrounding the Mid Autumn Festival, I always found the store-bought cake filling to be too sweet or too artificially colored red for my liking. Perhaps it’s because I’m use to my mom’s moon cakes with red bean paste.
Some moon cake versions include a filling with a whole egg yolk in the middle surrounded by a bean paste. My mom never put whole yolks in her eggs, but some people really like them. When they cut their moon cakes into quarters, they’ll find a tasty bit of yellow yolk in each piece.
Here’s a recipe that does not include the yolk just like the kind I grew up eating. This recipe requires a moon cake mold. If you don’t have an Asian specialty store or a Chinatown nearby, search online like at Amazon.com to purchase.
Whether you end up purchasing moon cakes or making them yourself, have a very happy Mid Autumn Festival celebration!
Our September blog carnival is all about our family’s fall traditions. Check out what cool things my fellow #AsianMomBloggers and their family do when the weather cools down for autumn.
- Maria at Bicultural Mama: Mid Autumn Festival Fall Traditions with Moon Cake Recipe
- Grace from HapaMama: Fall Traditions: Pumpkin Patch Photoshoot Tips
- Thien-Kim at I’m Not the Nanny: 3 Ways to Celebrate Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
- Phyllis of Napkin Hoarder: My Grandmother Explains Chuseok
- Stephanie from Frankly, My Dear: Fall Traditions