Inside the legend
Hi it’s Lynette and I bet you’re looking forward to the mooncake festival.
Now legend has it that a gifted archer named Hou Yi was awarded an elixir of life.
But interestingly, it was his wife Chang E who took the entire elixir and that’s how
she started floating toward the stars along with her jade rabbit and was trapped in the moon forever.
Nope that’s not the end of the story
Once a year when the moon is at its fullest, Houyi would then prepare a feast and gaze upon the moon, missing his wife.
And that’s how it became a custom for the Chinese to prepare food for family reunions
or miss loved ones who are abroad on a mid-autuum day under the pale moonlight.
The Mid-autuum Festival or Mooncake Festival is just around the corner
and if you’re asking what’s the point of mooncakes.
First you need to know that people eat mooncakes to express their love for their family and their hope for a happy life.
But why in autuum? Because that’s when the moon is the roundest and fullest.
The roundness of the moon, btw, symbolises family unity and harmony.
In fact, before you bite into your next mooncake,
take time to admire thee embossed Chinese characters for “togetherness” or “harmony”
and insignia of the baker as well printed on the delicate outer skin
And right before savouring the sweet fillings of lotus, yam or red bean
Remember that the salted egg yolk right in the centre, symbolises the full moon of course.
Folklores and other urban legends
Coming up on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese Lunar calendar or simply the 8th of September, it’s the Moon cake Festival widely celebrated by the Chinese the world over.
It’s actually a celebration of the harvest but there’re many interesting stories behind this festival.
One particular legend revolves around mooncakes and how they were used as a medium for communication during a war.
Apparently in the 14th century, Yuan Dynasty, the Han Chinese were desperate to overthrow the invading Mongolians, and so they made and distributed thousands upon thousands of these delicious mooncakes with hidden messages to rebel against them on, you guessed it!
The 15th day of the 8th month.
But don’t start looking for hidden messages in your mooncake though, it’s no fortune cookie.
And to fully appreciate this special event, head on down to the Singapore Chinese Garden where you’ll see lanterns of all shapes and sizes carried in processions.