It is a wonderful thing to live in a multi-cultural society. I noticed this morning that the malls are once again filling up with stalls selling Moon Cakes.

mooncake1We are just heading into the first in a series of celebrations that will take us all the way through to February with plenty of decorations and amazing food. This is the third major festival of the Chinese calendar, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month and has to do with the union of man’s spirit with nature in order to achieve perfect harmony so that the contemplation of nature becomes a way of life.

 

This festival is also known as the Moon Cake Festival because a special kind of sweet cake (yueh ping) prepared in the shape of the moon and filled with sesame seeds, ground lotus seeds and duck eggs is served as a traditional Chung Chiu delicacy. Nobody actually knows when the custom of eating moon cake to celebrate the Moon Festival began, but one story traces its origin to the 14th century. At the time, China was in revolt against the Mongols. Chu Yuen-chang, and his senior deputy, Liu Po-wen, discussed battle plan and developed a secret moon cake strategy to take a certain walled city held by the Mongol enemy. Liu dressed up as a Taoist priest and entered the besieged city bearing moon cake. He distributed these to the city’s populace. When the time for the year’s Chung Chiu festival arrived, people opened their cakes and found hidden messages advising them to coordinate their uprising with the troops outside. Thus, the emperor-to-be ingeniously took the city and his throne. Moon cake of course, became even more famous.  (en.wikipedia.org)

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