Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, September 15 – Today is the Mid-Autumn Festival, also called Moon Festival. It is the 15th day of the 8th month on the lunar calendar and celebrates the official start of fall. It is a holiday spent with family and/or friends, As with all holidays, having dinner together is important, then the evening (if possible) is spent gazing at the full moon, lighting lanterns, and eating mooncakes! Traditional mooncakes are a rich pastry, with sweet fillings of lotus seeds, red beans, nuts, or fruit, and a salted egg yolk in the very center. They are usually round to symbolize the moon. Because of their richness, they are not eaten whole, but cut into smaller wedges when served. There are many different types today, including snowskin mooncakes, which are made with a glutinous rice dough and are usually white or colored, and even frozen ice cream mooncakes! They are served with Chinese tea or fruit wines. Giving mooncakes as gifts is a tradition, so there are many, many options available to buy! Large, fancy, expensive packages, to smaller, single packaged individual ones. The majority come in pretty metal tins, I’m always tempted to buy them just for the tin! although I didn't get pictures of them this year!) I have a variety of mooncakes in the pictures:
Top: These are our homemade mooncakes :-) Middle left: These were ones we bought that we could eat because they had rice flour and bean starches instead of wheat flour, inside is egg yolk and black sesame. Middle center: This is a Starbucks snowskin mooncake. Middle right: Tins with snowskin and more traditional mooncakes. Bottom: Lots of gift packages to choose from at the supermarkets!