Monday, September 12, 2011

# Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival # mooncake

Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival 2011

Every year, whenever the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival comes, it marks the middle of the autumn and starts the countdown for winter. It's not a big holiday here in the Philippines because there's no winter here but I think it's one of those festival that must be celebrated as a holiday.

What's so good about the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival? It's actually when the biggest full moon of the year appears because it's nearest to the earth. In China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and in other countries whose majority are made up of Chinese nationalities observe this festival. It is the time of the year besides Chinese New Year when the family gets together to catch up. And there's another agenda which is to appreciate nature. It's also when lanterns are made for children and children at heart to go out of their houses to look at the big bright moon.

Lanterns in Hong Kong (Image from

Tonight, I tried capturing the big bright moon. It's quite hard to do with my point and shoot camera but the moon was quite big and bright today.

First attempt

Second attempt (Look at the brightness of the full moon)

Last attempt (My hands were already quite shaking and I was trying to stop it.)
I remember when I was still little and my grandma still lives in Hong Kong, my family usually goes visit her at this time since there's no classes in school (I studied at a Chinese school). We will go to Victoria Park to look at the moon (since the skyscrapers covers the sky) and also there's a lantern exhibit for everyone to enjoy.

Lantern at Victoria Park (Image from
Somehow I hope I'm in Hong Kong on this day to look at the fabulous lantern exhibits. I'm sure there are lots of people in Victoria Park right now. Also, it's a non-working holiday tomorrow there so everyone's surely enjoying the scenery with their family.

For so many years since my grandma moved here, my family have been spending the Mid-Autumn Festival here in the Philippines. We still get together at this time to eat a simple dinner and talk about anything under the moon. We go out of the house and literally look at the moon then thank God for blessing our family and letting us be all together on this day.

Aside from the simple dinner, of course the mooncake must not be missed! This year, we have a box of mooncake from Hong Kong! I actually find the box's design very beautiful and meaningful. I also love the smoothness of its "lin yong" (Lotus Seed Paste in Cantonese) which melts inside the mouth and tastes a lot better than what is being sold here.
Maxim's Mooncake from Hong Kong

"Yuet" (Moon in Cantonese) hence the drawing

"Peng" (Cake or cookies in Cantonese) Since it's year of the rabbit, the rabbits are exchanging mooncakes. So cute!

"Mei" (Beauty in Cantonese) represented by an illustration of the Moon Lady

"Sum" (Heart in Cantonese) represented by an illustration of Hong Kong where the mooncake was made from

Another reason for me wanting to be in Hong Kong at this moment aside from the lantern and holiday is the variations of flavors of mooncake they have available that can't be found here. Just by looking at some pictures online, I'm already drooling and want to try them out! They're also made and sold for a limited time only so when I go to Hong Kong next time, I won't be able to buy them. Too bad icy mooncake melts so I also can't ask someone to send one for me. :'(

Icy Mooncake by Wing Wah (Image from

(Very yummy looking) Mango flavored wrapped in mung bean paste icy mooncake (Image from

Why eat mooncake on this day? The mooncake's sweetness is a reminder of the family's togetherness and happiness for being together. The salted egg in the middle of the mooncake reminds us of a war which the Chinese won centuries ago for the freedom which we are now enjoying. Oh yeah...there's also that legend of the moon lady who took the fountain of youth and flew to the moon!

Happy mooncake day, everyone! For those people in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and Korea, enjoy the Mid-Autumn holiday! Lucky you! As for me, I'm back to work tomorrow and will just wait until the Halloween-All Saints Day Holiday which I wish will be longer.

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