What are some Mid-Autumn Festival food traditions?
The Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as the Moon Festival or Harvest Moon Festival. Celebrated across East Asia, it is the time of paper lanterns, moon cakes, and moon gazing. Most importantly, it is also the time for family gatherings and reunions, which means the need for good food.
During this period, Osmanthus wine is the choice of drink in China. Pomelo is often served to act as an offering to the Moon Goddess, to bring good luck, and to attract good health for children. In Shaanxi, whole watermelons are carved into the shape of lotus flowers before they are eaten to symbolise good fortune. In different areas, glutinous rice cakes and rice dumplings are snacked on. Seasonal foods such taro, lotus roots, and pumpkin are a popular choice.
However, out of all the festive foods, the most iconic is easily the moon cake, a pastry treat that can come with different types of fillings such as lotus paste, red bean paste, or mixed nuts. A Mid-Autumn Festival wouldn’t truly be one without moon cakes. Not only are they a delicious treat to share and enjoy with tea, they are also customarily exchanged as gifts with friends and family during this festival.