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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Moon Cake Festival

The Mid-Autumn festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival or Lantern Festival in Malaysia, is celebrated annually on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month to mark the end of the harvest season.


The festival is celebrated with a big feast where friends and families gather to enjoy mooncakes and kids play with colourful lanterns.
The moon, a symbol of wholeness, unity and harmony in Chinese traditions, is the brightest and fullest on that day.

There are a few legends associated with this festival but my favourite folklore is the one told by my grandma when we were kids.
According to the story, there was an uprising in China against the Mongolian rulers during the 14th century. As mass gatherings were banned, planning a rebellion was impossible. Secret messages were then hidden inside mooncakes giving the exact date and time of the revolt against the Mongolians. On the night of the Moon Festival, the rebels successfully attacked and overthrew the government. What followed was the establishment of the Ming Dynasty. To celebrate their victory, eating mooncakes has become an important part of the festival.

Handmade dough dolls in the shapes of a ram and a snail

A crab-shaped mooncake

A dragon lantern

Ben 10
Lanterns sold in the malls


  1. Oh, Veronica--I want that fish lantern!!!! It is adorable!

    I like when you explain these traditions to me--I like to learn about them. Why is it called a mooncake?? What does it taste like?

  2. Oh, yum yum!!! That mooncake looks very delicious. Hope, you're having a great week!

  3. Those are so cool!! I love lanterns. They are so pretty.

  4. Love the bread dolls. The lanterns are beautiful. Have a slice of mooncake for me! Thanks for introducing me to a tradition I'd never heard of before.

  5. It's lovely to see a lantern procession but it 's been a long time since. There are so many varieties of mooncakes to eat but I enjoy the lotus and the red bean past types.

  6. I like the Mooncake Festival, because it is a holiday here, but I'm not really into mooncakes, except maybe for Haagen-Dazs ones! :)

    Which reminds me... I have to get lanterns for the kids for school! I much prefer the more traditional paper ones rather than the blow-up rubber/plastic ones, though.

  7. The lanterns are gorgeous! I really liked learning about this!

  8. Oh how nice to see a picture of ya!!!!!

    And those lanterns are so pretty!

  9. I love the lanters! And the rolls...amazing!!

  10. Hey now, check you out! You're beautiful as ever! Always nice to see a photo with you in it.

    Those have got to be the coolest lanterns I've ever seen. The shapes and colors are fabulous and so fun! What a great story about the mooncakes. It puts our moonpies to shame.

  11. This is really interesting. Thanks so much for sharing it with me. I wish we had something so beautiful! When I said our "pagan tradition", I meant that it was just our family tradition to go to the ancient sites open all night long for free with free music. Nothing as beautiful as THIS!!!

    LOVE IT!

  12. Oh thank you! When my daughter and I went to the Asian market, we were mesmerized by the mooncakes. We saw mice and other shapes. They were really expensive! I didn't know the significance of the mooncakes. Now I do. Do they taste good?

  13. Wow, this is are great pictures! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Very cool story of how the Ming Dynasty was started, I guess it just goes to show, you can't hold people back. We are so resourceful when we want to be. Beautiful lanterns & the moon cakes are so pretty I wouldn't want to eat them. LOL

  15. What do moon cakes taste like? I should head down to Chinatown and see if they have any. I love your pictures and descriptions!

  16. what do they taste like? once again... beautiful

  17. That looks like fun! How long is the flight from California to Malaysia? lol

  18. Beautiful pictures! This festival must be so interesting! Everything looks like a lot of fun with wonderful things to eat also. Take care and continue to enjoy your weekend.