October is almost here, which means that it is moon cake eating time! All my friends back in Beijing are preparing to leave the city, for a few days of relaxation and travel.
The Mid-Autumn festival is a time of great celebration in China, and it is held during the eighth full moon of the lunar year (Sept. 30 in 2012). And, as with summer’s Dragon Boat Festival and spring’s Chinese New Year, traditional foods are an important part of this major Chinese celebration.
When that bright moon rises in the east at the end of this month, the Chinese will do as they have done for millions of years: gaze at the moon, and nibble on those tasty moon cakes. I am not really fond of moon cakes, but I will usually eat one to celebrate the festival.
Every region of China has its own version of moon cakes, each with their own unique characteristics. In Beijing and the rest of the north, the pastry tends to be white, with a feathery exterior so flaky that this version is known as fanmao, or ruffled fur. After celebrating Chinese New Years in China for the past few years, I learned to enjoy the northern moon cakes, and thought they tasted great with a cup of green tea.
Well however you and your family spend the Mid-Autumn festival, enjoy the moon cakes, and don’t forget to take time out to gaze at the moon.