It’s that time of year again when we’re preparing to celebrate the annual Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, a celebration that has a rich cultural and spiritual heritage, being celebrated among the Chinese community for thousands of years. Here at Tang, we love sharing parts of our heritage and culture with our customers; so here’s a little synopsis of the exciting event that is the annual Moon or Harvest Festival!
The rich cultural history of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival spans back as early as the 11th Century B.C, during the Zhou dynasty. Ancient emperors of the time used to worship and offer sacrifice to the moon in autumn, as they believed that the practice would bring them a plentiful harvest the following year. Traditionally, the harvest festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar (late September/early October in western society).
Throughout the centuries since the celebration’s creation, adaptations brought about by various Dynasties have increased the popularity of the festival, now known for its widespread communal celebration and worship activities throughout Mainland China and areas of south east Asia.
The excitement of a new harvest brought together families of the early Chinese dynasties so they could worship and offer food ‘sacrifices’ to the moon in the hope of a prosperous return.
Traditionally, performed outside under the full moon, a feast of fruits and Mooncake were shared during the celebration, whilst burning incense and releasing lanterns. Gifting and consuming of Mooncake originated as part of the harvest worshiping practices and have remained a symbolic gift of reunion.
Mooncakes are round pastries made from red bean or lotus seed paste, surrounded in thin pastry and often filled with a salted duck egg. Traditional Mooncakes have an imprint on top consisting of the Chinese characters including ‘Harmony’ and ‘Longevity.’ A symbol of togetherness, Mooncake were seen and an indispensible delicacy as part of the Harvest celebration and have continued to gain popularity up to the current day.
In modern society, it is customary to present them to friends and family as gifts. Mooncake recipes have been diversified with the use of contemporary fillings including chocolate and green tea flavourings, making them all the more appealing to those in western society.
Whether you’re looking to purchase Mooncake as a gift, for your personal Moon Harvest Celebration or as a unique and delicious treat, make sure you head in to see us at Tang Food Emporium for all your needs!