Did you see the supermoon eclipse this past Sunday? Here in Montreal, we are lucky to see the crimson-orange like moon with almost no clouds, how about you guys?? Just stunning ❤ Coincidently, it happened on the same day as the Chinese Lunar festival, which can also be called Chinese Mid-Autunm Festival. It is also one of the biggest festivals for Asians.
Since I was young, I heard many tales about the moon festival. Such as a beautiful queen tried to protect her commoners from the greedy king; she drank the immortal potion of the king and slowly got sent to the moon palace for eternity.
Another tale is about 3 poor hungry men who asked 3 immortal animals, a fox, a monkey and a rabbit, for food. Both fox and monkey gave out food but the rabbit didn’t have any. Being generous, it said “eat me instead” and threw itself in the fire. The men were very honoured with the rabbit’s sacrifice and they sent it to the moon palace with the queen and became an immortal jade rabbit.
The third tale is really closely to what we do as a tradition for each moon festival in real life. Of course, we love to have family gatherings like any other big days from the Chinese Calendar. As we visit our family and friends, it is a must to bring mooncakes. It is a sign of gratitude toward your loved ones (just like wine, yum). So why mooncakes and what or those?
Let’s start describing what it is: it is a pastry with a sweet paste and with a preserved salted oak in the center. Yes, I know, it sounds really weird – like any other foreign food – but don’t judge, it’s good. Anyhow, as we cut the cake into triangle pieces, if you look inside, it looks similar to the full moon sky (oh! yeah forgot to mention.. the lunar festival always happens on a full moon. Sometimes I don’t get how ancient Chinese can be that precise with the calendar!) Back to the cake: the sweet dark part is the sky and the orange coloured oak is the moon. (JUST LIKE THIS YEAR’S SUPERMOON!) And we eat that all together while enjoying the beautiful full moon view. Now there is different flavor of mooncakes, some are colourful like the ones in the pictures. Those are mostly covered with an iced pastry.
And what is the tale with this cake? It is about the people who are very unsatisfied with the governor’s rules and want to organize a revolt against him. However, the government is very strict and makes it hard to pass on messages to others. Therefore, one of the commoners thought of using August 15th (Chinese calendar aka Lunar festival) and use the mooncakes as message carriers. Ever since, we share mooncakes all together on August 15th.
Hope you enjoyed this mini cultural post ❤ Marika and I love to learn about different cultures, they are amazing and that’s how they make us all different and make this society beautiful!
xox Happy Mid-Autumn Festival and hope you enjoyed the #supermoon #eclipse!