Mooncake/Mid-Autumn Festival

Today is Mooncake Festival where the moon is at its fullest(assuming u can see the moon). There are many stories associated with the Mooncake Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival.

One of it is of the lady and hare in the moon. There was a beautiful woman called Chang Er a long time ago who was married to the Great General Hou-Yi, a famed archer. One day, 9 suns appeared in the sky and the emperor commanded Hou-Yi to shoot down 8 of the 9 suns. A Goddess rewarded him with an Immortality Pill for his deed. But his wife apparently stole the pill and was banished to the moon. She met a hare on the moon and built a palace and stayed on the moon. It is said that u can sometimes see her playing with the hare on the moon when the moon is at her brightest and roundest.

A story of the mooncake is during the Mongolian Rule in 1289 AD, the Chinese were treated as slaves in China by the Mongolians. So in 1368 during the August Moon Festival, the Chinese decided to have a revolution. Knowing the Mongolians don't eat mooncake, the Chinese Revolutionists sent messages in the mooncakes telling them to execute the Mongolians after the festival. And the Chinese were told not to eat the mooncakes until the 15th of the 8th Lunar month. So that's why we eat mooncakes on the 15th of the 8th Lunar month now.

The tradition of eating mooncakes while enjoying the bright round moon can also be traced back to the time when the Chinese especially the Han and minority nationalities because they used to hold ceremonies to welcome winter and worship the moon. The yolk in the mooncakes signify the beautiful moon and mooncakes were sent to family and friends to represent wishes of family reunion.


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