Sunday, September 30, 2012
Mid Autumn festival
These brown moon cakes are baked. The filling may be lotus seed paste, mung bean paste, red bean paste, with or without salted duck egg yolk, and my favourite, the nutty ones aka WU REN made of nuts and seeds like almond, pumpkin seeds, ham, ginger, and so on.
Modern style snow skin of pale pink, yellow, green or white. These skins were precooked like playdough, and you have to keep them in the fridge. They have flavours like straw berry, green tea, pandan, chocolate and even ice cream. I am a person of tradition, moon cakes have to be traditional.
The pomelo is a giant citrus fruit. It is much bigger than a grape fruit as you can see in the pix. It is very sweet, and is very popular during Mid Autumn festival and Chinese New Year.
The Thais make a spicy pomelo salad.
When we were young, we had ourselves a pomelo hat. We didn't teach this to Sam. He naturally did it. Like Mother like Son. It is only today, that I learned a symbolic reason for doing this in Taiwan.
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, Zhongqiu Festival, or in Chinese, Zhongqiujie (traditional Chinese: 中秋節). It is also known as the mooncake festival ot the lantern festival. in Vietnamese "Tết Trung Thu", is a popular harvest festival celebrated by Chinese,Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese people, dating back over 3,000 years to moon worship in China's Shang Dynasty. It was first called Zhongqiu Jie (literally "Mid-Autumn Festival") in the Zhou Dynasty. In Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, it is also sometimes referred to as the Lantern Festival or Mooncake Festival. It is also related to the important Korean holiday of Chuseok.
Today, at ESOL class, I got my adult students to recount what Mid Autumn festival meant to them. I had a plan on the white board, and some of the students were happy to be reminded. They had vaguely remember all the stories they were told when they were young.
While there are the folk lore of the lady Chang'e in the moon and her cruel husband Houyii, and the rabbit.
I like to remember this Mid Autumn festival as the day China was liberated from the cruel Mongolian rule in the 14th Century, 1280 to 1360. My dad told me every year that this day is likened to the American Independence day.
At that time, China was ruled by the cruel Monguls. People were not allowed to congregate or there was no way to revolt. A man hatched a plan to put a piece of paper in the moon cake, with the secret message to kill the Mongul soldier guarding the door at precisely the same time on August 15th, of the Lunar calender. They pretended that that day was the Moon Festival. So when the Chinese people cut open the moon cake, they found the message, and together at the same time, they killed the Mongul solders, and hence liberated China.
After getting rid of the Mongols, the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) started.
This festival is one of the three most important festivals in the Chinese calender. In Taiwan, it is a public holiday. Employees are given a bonus.
It is a reunion dinner, and after the meal, you take a stroll with the children with their lanterns and appreciate the moon.