Source: China State Council Information Office 3
As the Mid-Autumn Festival is around the corner, people across the country are looking forward to reuniting with their families and friends on this traditional festival.
Apart from the most iconic mooncakes, people will also partake in osmanthus cakes, crabs, pomegranates, osmanthus wine, and other time-honored delicacies together, all of which convey auspicious meaning and contribute to the festival’s rich cultural significance.
Mooncakes, the bakery product has various rich fillings, including yolk, pineapple, durian, chocolate, green tea and cream cheese. The round shape of mooncakes not only symbolizes the moon but also completeness, fulfillment, and perfection.
Celebratory delicacies of Mid-Autumn Festival
Osmanthus flowers bloom around the Mid-Autumn Festival and it has a lingering aroma, many festive delicacies use it as an ingredient.
When you blend Osmanthus flowers, pure rice wine, and sugar, pack the wine, then leave it in the shade for two months, you can enjoy a cup of sweet-scented osmanthus wine. Osmanthus Cake is another delicacy uses the seasonal flowers as a main ingredient.
Dating back to the Han Dynasty (202BC -220 AD), harvested around the Mid-Autumn Festival annual, pomegranates are one of the sacrifices of worshipping the moon to pray for reunion and auspiciousness. It is also one of the most common fruits on people’s reunion table during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The custom of eating crabs at the festival is also a time-honored tradition in China. There is an old saying: “Autumn wind, crab feet itch; Chrysanthemums bloom and then delicious crabs arrive,” which signifies that the Mid-Autumn Festival is the best time to enjoy crabs.
In mandarin, “crab” has a homophone for the word “Xie,” which expresses the meaning of thanks. So sending crabs to relatives and friends as a gift is to express Chinese people’s gratitude and heart.
The festival around the world
Mid-Autumn Festival in China originated from old moon worshipping tradition from ancient times, it has at least over 3,000 years history. The festival has been included in China’s first national intangible cultural heritage list on May 20th, 2006, and has been a statutory holiday since 2008.
Not just in China, a large number of Chinese emigrants who live in foreign lands also celebrate the festival to express and cherish their thoughts about home and loved ones.
Apart from aforementioned Chinese food, the Chinese emigrants also have different ways to celebrate the festival in their communities. In the Australian city of Sydney, thematic cocktail parties were held as a part of the celebration. “The party was special, with local people and us Chinese sharing moon cakes, and Chinese colleagues performing traditional instruction zither and urhheen,” said Bian Jun, the president of Sydney Shanghai Chamber of Commerce.
The atmosphere of the Mid-Autumn Festival around the world is strengthened every year, which reflects Chinese tradition and the influence of Chinese culture worldwide.