SPIRIANT China celebrates the Moon Festival
Hi, I am Addy from Hong Kong and I am the Director Design Amenities at SPIRIANT. Today is a very special day because we are celebrating the Moon Festival.
On the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar year comes the Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival. On this night, the moon is at its fullest and brightest. Friends and family gather together to enjoy the moonlight and, of course, eat mooncakes!
It is important for the whole family to get together this evening and share a number of traditional dishes, which typically include chicken, fish, prawns and vegetables. After the dinner, we will normally head out to a park where children run around carrying their lanterns made in the form of bunnies, or the latest cartoon characters, while the adults sit on the grass to chat and soak up the moonlight.
What are mooncakes?
They are traditional Chinese pastries filled with a sweet paste. Typically, they are round, measuring about 10 cm in diameter by 3 to 4 cm in thickness. The most common fillings are made with coconut, red beans, lotus seed or duck-egg yolks. Depending on the region, they come in various flavors and can even be salty. The cakes are usually eaten in small wedges accompanied by Chinese tea. And they are rich! A single mooncake has approximately 1,000 calories, but this can vary depending on the filling and portion size. Nowadays, people present mooncakes to relatives and friends to wish them a long and happy life.
Personally, I am not a big fan of the traditional mooncakes because I find them too oily and a bit too sweet. But in the last 10 years or so, many new ways of making them have gained in popularity. You can find mini mooncakes, which are bite size and easy to eat. There are also “snow skin” mooncakes that are topped with rice jelly and are typically served cold. My favorite kind is the ice-cream mooncakes, which combine two of my favorite foods, chocolate as the crust and ice cream as the filling.
The Moon Festival is the second biggest in China and the equivalent of Thanksgiving in the U.S. Its origins go back to ancient times, when people would get together to give thanks for a good rice harvest. In ancestral China, emperors would make offerings and sacrifices to the sun in the spring and to the moon in the autumn. Another hallmark of this festivity is the many lantern festivals throughout the country. For instance, the festivals in Hong Kong are quite spectacular, presenting a mix of tradition and state-of-the-art designs.
“My personal tip for you: If you are travelling to Hong Kong during this time of the year, go to the Peak at night, not only for the breath-taking skyline view. Take a walk around and watch the locals light up the small parks with candles and lanterns. Another must-see is the Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, where the grandest magical lantern carnival takes place.”
By the way, the Moon Festival is also celebrated in other countries (under different names) with the usual dragon parades, lion dances, lantern carnivals and colorful markets. Those countries include South Korea (Chuseok), Vietnam (Tết Trung Thu) and in Japan (Tsukimi).
Good-bye for now. And as we say in one of our Chinese proverbs: “The roundest moon can be seen in the autumn. It is time for reunions.” I wish you a happy Mid-Autumn Festival with your loved ones!