Culture > Festivals
Traditional food for Mid-Autumn Festival
2014-08-15 11:03     Source : Shenzhen Daily

Moon cakes

Moon cakes are the most popular and important food eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Various types of moon cakes are placed in the most prominent places in stores and markets as the festival approaches.

Moon cakes are traditional Chinese pastries that consist of a thin tender skin that envelopes a sweet, dense filling. Moon cakes used to be made at home, but very few people make them at home nowadays. Traditional fillings include lotus seed paste, sweet bean paste and egg yolk, however, moon cakes with modern flavors such as ice cream and chocolate have appeared in recent years.


People living south of the Yangtze River follow the tradition of eating pumpkin during the festival.

Poor families chose to eat pumpkin during the Mid-Autumn Festival in ancient times since they couldn’t afford moon cakes. The tradition has been passed down, and eating pumpkin on the Mid-Autumn Festival night is believed to bring people good health.

An interesting legend says that a very poor family, a couple with a daughter, lived at the foot of South Mountain. The old couple was seriously ill for lack of food. The daughter found an oddly shaped melon one day while she was working in the fields near the mountain. She took the melon home and cooked for her dying parents. Surprisingly, her sick parents recovered after eating the melon. Because the melon was picked near South Mountain, it was named “south melon” (“nangua” is the Chinese word for pumpkin).

Editor: 容艳君