Monday, September 8, 2014

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Today, the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, is Mid-Autumn Festival here in China. The Mid-Autumn Festival dates back over 3,000 years to the Shang Dynasty. At that time Chinese emperors worshiped the full moon, they believed this would bring them a good harvest in the following year. It is the second most important Chinese holiday, with Chinese New Year being the first. It is now a holiday to spend outdoors with family and friends admiring the full moon and eating moon cakes. 
(Our real estate agent S gave us this box of moon cakes.)
Moon cakes are a traditional Chinese pastry.  The dessert is round (like the full moon) with a pastry skin surrounding a sweet dense filling. There are five different traditional moon cake fillings: lotus seed paste, sweet bean paste, five kernel, egg yolk and jujube paste. 
(This is the inside of the box, each of the moon cakes were individually wrapped.)
We received a box of moon cakes from our real estate agent. Each of the eight moon cakes were a different flavor.  The first one I tried is pictured below, it was kind of purple in color and I am not sure what the flavor was. Honestly, I am not sure what any of the flavors have been so far. A couple of them were similar to fig newtons, mostly in texture, but the flavor was more like tobacco with some nuts.  There was another one that tasted kind of fishy to me, but J disagreed. The best moon cake that I have eaten was a coconut flavored one I bought on an impulse the other day. 
(This is the outside of the moon cake. This one has an 85 stamped on the top for the café were they were made.)
For mid-autumn festival banks, schools and many other offices have a three day weekend, J's company included. It was nice to have him around for an extra day. We saw some of the Suzhou sites, checked out a new to us grocery store (it has a decent amount of international items and good wine prices) and tried out the subway.
(The inside of a moon cake.)



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