Friday, September 17, 2010

The Legend Behind Moon Cake Festival

The time of this story is around 2170 B.C.

The earth once had ten suns circling over it; each took its turn to illuminate to the earth. But one day all ten suns appeared together, scorching the earth with their heat. The earth was saved by a strong and tyrannical archer Hou Yi. He succeeded in shooting down nine of the suns. One day, Hou Yi stole the elixir of life from a goddess. However his beautiful wife Chang Er drank the elixir of life in order to save the people from her husband's tyrannical rule. After drinking it, she found herself floating and flew to the moon; where she lived ever since. Hou Yi loved his divinely beautiful wife so much; he didn't shoot down the moon.

Hou Yi can only meet Chang Er on the 15th of the 8th lunar month, which apparently comes on October 6, 2006 which was yesterday. The Chinese celebrates it as The Festival Mooncake.
Chinese culture is deeply imbedded in traditional festivals. Just like Christmas and Thanksgiving in the West, the Moon Festival is one of the most important traditional events for the Chinese.

The Moon Festival is also an occasion for family reunions. When the full moon rises, families get together to watch the full moon, eat moon cakes, and sing moon poems. With the full moon, the legend, the family and the poems, you can't help thinking that this is really a perfect world. That is why the Chinese are so fond of the Moon Festival.

The Moon Festival is also a romantic one. A perfect night for the festival is if it is a quiet night without a silk of cloud and with a little mild breeze from the sea. Lovers spend such a romantic night together tasting the delicious moon cake with some wine while watching the full moon. Even for a couple who can't be together, they can still enjoy the night by watching the moon at the same time so it seems that they are together at that hour. A great number of poetry has been devoted to this romantic festival. Hope the Moon Festival will bring you happiness.

The moon cake (in Chinese called Tiong Cu Pia) is the food for the Mid-Autumn Festival. The Chinese eat the moon cake at night with the full moon in the sky.

As far as I know, there are two kinds of moon cake; the round-thin that filled with vary tastes like chocolate, durian, cempedak, etc., and the brown thick one with Chinese words printed on its top which is usually filled with salted egg. I never eat the brown one, since my mom never bought it. I love the round-thin one anyway.


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