My Over-delayed Chinese Mooncake Festival Post
Also referred to as the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Mooncake Festival marks the end of a good harvest season among the farmers.
The Chinese legal holiday is annually held on the fifteenth day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is about mid to late September on the Filipino date spread. This year, it was last September 13 14. Now you know why its an ‘over-delayed post.’ =)
Wikipedia.org describes it as “…a date that parallels the autumn and spring Equinoxes of the solar calendar,” hence the reference to the ‘moon’ in the famous Chinese pastry of the festival – ‘Mooncake‘. The Chinese term is pronounced as “yuèbĭng” with a literal English translation of “Moon biscuit“. They are usually about the size of your palm and half way as thick. Dense-heavy and usually rounded, it can also come in squares. But then again, there are no square moons and you would not feel its ‘moon-ness’ while biting a chunk, right? At about Php 50 a piece, fillings vary from ordinary mongo to the premium lotus seed paste and almost always contain egg yolks symbolizing the full moon.
My Mooncake Festival
Although with Chinese roots, our extended family rarely celebrate this holiday nowadays having been dominated by the westernized younger generation (us). Nonetheless, as rare as catching a full moon on a stormy sky, we belatedly played the Mooncake Festival Dice Game characterized by a group of people surrounding a round table throwing 6 dice in a glass bowl, taking turns. Certain numeric and die-color combination results has corresponding values with all-four dice (all six dice has the mark of four red dots in each) as the highest.
Prizes are traditionally mooncakes and hopia. More affluent families could give away ampao-s (cash in red envelope-s). But with today’s inflation spike in the Philippines and the US recession, hard life dictates settling for hopia (excuses). Hey, its the spirit of the festivity alright!? Mind you, they are expensive hopias. Anyway, we played the game after a filling meal in a new Chinese resto at the Trinoma Mall (of which I will feature soon in this blog).
Both children and adults enjoyed it! And we made sure the hopia source did NOT use ingredients having any connections to melamine. =) Cheers!
* Info & Mooncake image with reference to Wikipedia.
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One thought on “My Over-delayed Chinese Mooncake Festival Post”
My Chinese college friends also told me about this love myth about the mooncake fest. Forgot how it goes, but I definetely enjoyed the mooncakes they gave me 🙂