The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival or in Chinese 中秋節, is a popular harvest festival celebrated by Chinese people 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.
Dinner: Popiah party! What’s more fun than making your own Popiah?
Dinner: flower crabs with bean sauce…
Traditional mid-autumn fare: moon cakes and pomelo
Typical mooncakes are round or rectangular pastries, measuring about 10 cm in diameter and 4-5 cm thick. A thick filling usually made from lotus seed paste is surrounded by a relatively thin (2-3 mm) crust and may contain yolks from salted duck eggs. Mooncakes are rich, heavy, and dense compared with most Western cakes and pastries. They are usually eaten in small wedges accompanied by Chinese tea.
Enjoying some moon cakes after dinner…
Smiling from ear to ear with satisfied stomaches :)
Traditional mid-autumn fare: steamed yam and devil pods
The water caltrop AKA Devil Pod is the seed pod of Trapa bicornis, an aquatic Asian plant. Glossy and black, it averages 2 1/2 – 3 inches from tip to tip, and when dried and oiled, its surface texture is similar to that of a chestnut or buckeye. They bear ornately shaped fruits that resemble the head of a bull, each containing a single very large starchy seed. The illusion of an evil face appears on both sides of the pod, and the two faces are usually quite different in visage.
Traditional mid-autumn fare: paper lenterns
The Vietnamese version of the holiday recounts the legend of Cuội, whose wife accidentally urinated on a sacred banyan tree, taking him with it to the Moon. Every year, on the mid-autumn festival, children light lanterns and participate in a procession to show Cuội the way to Earth.
Jeannie and Jewel also got their fair share of attention and non-meat scraps and they were more than happy to act as photo props all night long in exchange for yam and nuts.