What is the Mooncake Festival?

What is the Mooncake Festival?


As early as now, our friends from the Chinese community are preparing for the annual Mooncake Festival on September 8. For many Filipinos, it’s an excuse to be merry, which is great because it means one thing: food. Usually, those included in the festivities (meaning everyone) eat mooncakes, a Chinese pastry  made of the yolk from salted duck eggs, and filled with red bean or lotus seed taste. In the middle is one or a few salted duck egg yolks to symbolize the full moon. It goes without saying that it is delicious, and we’re excited for it! But what is the Mooncake Festival? *munch*



Just last year, Eng Bee Tin created the Philippines’ largest mooncake, measuring 75 inches and measuring 45 kilos


The Mooncake Festival is formally known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrated during the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese Lunar calendar. Traditionally, the Chinese celebrate the autumn equinox and the moon, when it’s supposed to be at its roundest. The round shape symbolizes family unity, love, harmony, and a happy life, and they celebrate this by eating the delicious mooncake.

It started 3,000 years ago in the Shang Dynasty, when emperors worshipped the moon because they believed it would bring a bountiful harvest. There are many versions of the Mooncake Festival’s history, but one story stuck. It is the myth of Houyi, a talented archer who was given an elixir of life. His wife Chang’e found it and drank it herself, and she and her jade rabbit flew to the sky and got trapped on the moon, officially becoming the Moon Goddess. On that day every year, Houyi prepares his wife’s favorite food (probably the mooncake), stares into the moon, and reminisces.



Who knew pretty mooncakes like these were once used to carry secret messages?


Another version is more realistic than the first. This legend states that mooncakes were used to deliver messages between the Chinese when Mongols invaded them in the Yuan Dynasty in the 14th century. They used the mooncakes to start a rebellion, which happened on the 15th day of the 8 month.

Today, the Mooncake Festival has adapted to modern times. Because a traditional mooncake can have up to 790 calories and 45 grams of fat, many bakers have prepared healthier versions with less fat and sugar. They even have mooncakes with yogurt, jelly, and even fat-free ice cream! They also have more flavors like green tea, ginger, fruits, or vegetables. It’s the perfect way to keep your figure, because there are only 109 days before Christmas!

Besides fat-free ice cream in mooncakes, today’s Mooncake Festival has colorful lanterns, gatherings with family and friends, and the chance for girls to pray to Chang’e to find them boyfriends (this is your chance!). But the best part of the festival, aside from the eating, is the Mooncake Dice Game, which we’ll discuss tomorrow. Watch out for that!

What are you doing for the Mooncake Festival this year? Share it in the comments below!


What is the Mooncake Festival?