Today, in many parts of Asia people are enjoying their day off – to celebrate the Moon Festival!
No, not this ‘Moon’ festival:
Moon Festival is often considered the second most important holiday in many East and Southeast Asian countries (after the New Year). It originated from China where farmers celebrated harvest and appreciated the full moon on the 15th of August of the Chinese calendar.
Basically it is the holiday where everyone gets to eat good food, party and get drunk, after months of hard work. It really is the holiday of pure joy.
Despite it being such a happy time of the year, Moon Festival carries a tragic and treacherous story behind it.
The legend tells about a man, one of the strongest and most handsome, and the best archer of his time who shot down nine out of ten suns in the sky to save the world from droughts and heat. He was rewarded with the elixir of immortality for his bravery. However his wife, the most beautiful Chang'e, stole and drank the elixir herself. She then ascended to the moon to live an eternal but lonely life.
However in modern day, many people are excited about Moon Festival for just one reason – the Mooncakes!
Yes these delicious delicacies are only sold around the Moon Festival! (How outrageous!) Many Asian kids dream about those yummy mooncakes months before the Moon Festival - just look at them!
Lucky for you! You now can get them in New Zealand as well, from Asian supermarkets like Tai-Ping. Here is a list of translated mooncake fillings so you know what you’ll be eating:
蓮蓉 – Lotus Seed Paste
豆沙 – Sweet Bean Paste
棗泥 – Sweet Dates Paste
五仁 – Five Nuts and Seeds
蛋黄 – Cured Egg Yolk