Chinese mid-autumn festival (中秋节, Zhōngqiū jié) is the second biggest festival a the Chinese New Year. It is held on the 15th of August according to the Chinese Lunar calendar. Lasting 3 to 7 days, depending on the year and where it falls in the calendar. In China and the surrounding regions, people get a day off for the festival if it falls on weekdays.
Other countries have different ways of celebrating that that may not grant a festival day. There are many legends behind the MidAutumn festival but the most popular one is surrounded by romance, sacrifice, and honor.
Chinese Moon Festival Legend The story is beautiful, romantic and inspirational. It starts with a young woman named Chang E (嫦娥, Cháng’é). She was an immortal who was cast down to earth to live in a poor farm family. At that time, there were 10 suns in the sky that kept getting hotter and hotter. Chang E became friends with a young hunter from the village named Hou Yi. Chang E convinced the young hunter that he was the strongest and bravest archer around so that he would shot down 9 of the 10 suns in order to save his village.
After doing so, the two married and became king and queen. Obsessed with immortality, Hou Yi ordered to concoct an elixir. It was a pill and Chang E swallowed it either accidentally or purposefully and fled. Her angry husband attempted to shoot her down as she floated to the moon where she stayed and lived the rest of her life. She is also the Goddess of the Moon. She and her husband, Hou Yi are also part of the reason for the Ying and Yang of Chinese culture facts because her husband eventually settled into life on the sun.
There’s another version of the story that Hou Yi didn’t go astray after he became a king. And Hou Yi asked for the elixir because he wanted to live with his beloved wife Chang E forever. In fact, when Chinese children are told the stories about Hou Yi, most of them heard of “Hou Yi is a good man who loves his wife so much” version. There are a total of four famous myths about Chinese mid-autumn festival that Chinese children have heard since they are little, including the story of Hou Yi, Chang E, Jade Rabbit and Wu Gang chopping the tree. Read complete four stories in Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival Myths and The Meaning Behind them
How to Make Mooncakes Mooncakes are traditional Chinese pastries that are made during the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is celebrated in China, Vietnam, as well as other countries in Asia. Mooncakes are usually round, made in a special mooncake mold, and contain a sweet filling, with the most common one being lotus seed paste or red bean paste.
Ingredients Dough Flour (100 g) Alkaline water (½ tsp) Golden syrup (60 g) Vegetable oil (28 g) Filling Lotus seed paste or red bean paste (420 g) Rose-flavored cooking wine (1 tsp) Egg yolks (6, one half for each mooncake) Egg Glaze Egg yolk (1) Egg white (2 tbsp.)
Mix together the ingredients for the dough. Stir together the alkaline water, golden syrup, and vegetable oil, and sift in the flour more slowly. When mixed together, these ingredients should form a dough. Cover the dough with saran wrap and set it aside for at least 3 hours
Prepare the salted egg yolks. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Put the yolks in a pan and steam them for about 10 minutes on a low to medium heat. Salt the yolks. Set them aside to cool down. Make sure that they have cooled off before you proceed in making the mooncakes. Cut each egg in half. ď ś Once they have dried, you should put them in a bowl and mix them with the cooking wine. Take them out and let them dry. You can also dry them with a paper towel.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). While the oven is preheating, separate the lotus or red bean paste into 12 equal parts. Roll each of these into a ball.
Separate the dough into 12 equal parts. Roll each of those into a ball, as well. Flatten each piece of dough into a small disk.
Assemble your mooncake. Each mooncake consists of a ball of dough, one ball of lotus or red bean paste, and one half of a salted egg yolk. Make a hole in a ball of lotus or bean paste, and put the egg yolk inside. Make the lotus or red bean paste into a ball that covers the egg yolk entirely. - Repeat this process, covering the lotus or red bean paste ball (with the egg yolk inside) with the dough. - Repeat this entire process for each mooncake. You should have 12 mooncakes.
Spray your mooncake mold with nonstick spray. Press each mooncake lightly into the mold. Take the mooncake out of the mold, and put it onto a baking sheet. Put all 12 mooncakes into the oven, and wait 10-12 minutes. ď ś While the mooncakes are baking, make the egg wash. Mix together the egg whites and the egg yolk, and then sift them through a sieve. ď ś Take the mooncakes out of the oven after about 5 minutes and brush them with the egg wash. Put them back in the oven until they become golden brown.
Put your mooncakes into an airtight container. After your mooncakes have dried and cooled off on a wire cooling rack, you should put them in an airtight container. Wait to eat your mooncakes for one or two days. They should be soft and also look shiny on the outside.
Eat your mooncake with Chinese tea. Mooncakes go especially well with tea. Try a vanilla tea with a little bit of spice for your traditional mooncake.
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