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Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Mooncakes

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.

I was also told another version of this folktale. Cryptic messages were incorporated onto the surfaces of the designs of the mooncakes (which came in packages of four), as a simple puzzle or mosaic. To decipher the message, each of the four mooncakes was cut into four parts. The resulting 16 pieces were reassembled to reveal the message. To destroy the evidence, the mooncakes were eaten immediately.

You can read more about the festival here and here.

Then there is the Legend of the Moon Goddess and her rabbit here.

My Corner of the World

59 comments:

  1. Those nicknames look beautiful. Good idea to hide messages in them, I love takes like this. Have a great day, Valerie

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  2. I am sure that it is a wonderful and scenic festival.
    Very interesting story; maybe it is not a legend and the messages on the mooncakes are a real story.
    However they look delicious.

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  3. This was interesting to read, Veronica. I like the story your mom told with the messages baked into the mooncakes. Do you make them yourself or buy them from your local bakery?

    betty

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  4. Look delicious:) thanks for your sharing...

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  5. Happy Lantern Fesitval:) All are looking perfect and delicious:)

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  6. Se ven ricas.Buen martes.
    Un abrazo.

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  7. Dearest Veronica,
    Those Mooncakes are too pretty for sinking your teeth into...
    It is funny that you being from Selangor, we do have the beautiful Royal Selangor Pewter: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2011/12/use-bobeches-with-your-candles.html
    Does your blog not have a Post feed redirect URL? When I try to add your blog to My Blog List on the side line, with the URL of your blog, it ONLY stays at the very bottom, does not renew with a new post because it has no feed redirect URL.
    You can create it here: https://support.google.com/feedburner/answer/78465?hl=en
    Good luck!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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  8. So pretty cakes! And I appreciate the story :)

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  9. Ha ha. I think we need some of those mooncakes and the secret messages here in the UK.

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  10. Oh my those look so good. I'd love to have one or two.

    Have a fabulous day, Veronica. ♥

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  11. Thanks for the history note you shared with those delicious-looking mooncakes! They look incredibly delicious!

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  12. Hello,
    The mooncakes look yummy! I would love to try one! Take care, have a happy day!

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  13. The mooncakes looks very tasty, Veronica.
    Happy Lantern Festival, and Happy Tuesday!

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  14. I used to love these, but the calories!

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  15. Fascinating info about these - and the photos - wow... love your blog.

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  16. Those are so pretty! I've never had them.

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  17. I would like to have those mooncakes at breakfast. Nice story!
    Hope you'll enjoy the Lantern Festival, Veronica.

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  18. These are beautiful. And what a great backstory!

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  19. The story about the secret messages in the mooncakes is wonderful! They are way too pretty to eat!

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  20. These mooncakes look really delicious.
    Greetings Irma

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  21. oooh yum. Following you if you care to follow me in return. xx

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  22. It's good to keep these traditions alive, and all cultures have them. As might be expected, food is an integral part of anything festive.

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  23. Hmmmm....Veronica!! That is looking good.
    A nice festival and very delicious. Nice pictures.

    Greetings, Marco

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  24. Mooncakes ... I don't hear from them, but they look more like art than cookies.
    Greetings
    Kirsi

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  25. Thank you for refreshing my memory on the history of the mooncake. The second folklore is new to me. I had to google for the date - Sep 21 - as I do not have the Chinese calendar. Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

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  26. When I saw the first photo, Veronica Lee, I was curious if this post would be about treats, then learned it was about so much more. Thanks for the background on the mooncakes, which are not only a treat but part of your history. Also, thanks for sharing which floor you live on; we are also on the 5th floor of our mill apt building.

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  27. The mooncakes look delicious, and the history is interesting, the idea of hiding messages inside is brilliant. I like the Mongolian folklore. I know many religions world wide had to create secret ways of communicating and worshipping. The moon goddess legend is sad. Thank you for sharing a lovely post.

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  28. The moon cakes look Yummy, and I can't believe what a beautiful design they all have. It's so nice that you listen attentively to the stories of your Grandma. Our ancestors are so wise and we get to learn from them. The moon cake festival in your area sounds interesting and delightful.

    I like your teapot too. : )

    ~Sheri

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  29. What interesting stories of the origin of Mooncakes as a tradition. The designs on them are exquisite.

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  30. Those look absolutely delicious and almost too pretty to eat!

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  31. Interesting history of the mooncakes.
    They are so beautifully decorated…a lovely work of art.

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  32. For me these kind of cakes are quite science fiction, but they look fabulous. Doing cookies is too difficult for me!😊
    But there are so beautiful that would be difficult to eat them.

    Happy WW, Veronica and a fine week!

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  33. I enjoyed the story and the moon cakes and they are so very artistically designed. Beautiful! Thank you Veronica :)

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  34. I have never heard of Mooncakes, and I must say they look delicious and the design is so intricate I would feel bad eating them! The story behind them is fascinating. I love hearing stories from other cultures and countries. Thank you for visiting my little blog, I love meeting new friends. Have a wonderful week!

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  35. You cannot eat those cakes. Soooo beautiful!
    Interesting story behind them, too. Complicated, clever.
    Ohhh, I would put it on display here!

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  36. Sono talmente belle che non si possono mangiare, devono essere buonissime.
    Buona serata.

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  37. I didn't know about the history of mooncakes! Our Chinese colleagues brought us some a while back (before the pandemic and when we could still freely travel!) and the one I got to try was yummy :)



    Hope you had a great weekend :) We made the most of the warm spring days and went to a bunch of parties!

    Away From The Blue

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  38. fascinating history - I love the cookie decorations and the idea of hidden messages

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  39. Those moon cakes are gorgeous.
    And I love the legends behind them.. I feel like they would make for a great adventure book.

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  40. Those mooncakes look good. I love the backstory you provided.

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  41. They're far too pretty to eat! Love these!
    Thank you for joining us this week at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2021/09/the-sistine-chapel-exhibit.html

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  42. i have never heard this story and i found it quite fascinating!! the cakes are beautiful and they look delicious!!

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  43. What a great festival I want some of those mooncakes heheh!

    Have a mooncaketastic week 👍

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  44. They're just beautiful! Seems a waste to eat them. I've been in Singapore in the lead up to the Autumn Festival and they were everywhere!

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  45. Almost - almost - too pretty to eat. Like edible art.

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  46. I love lotus paste with or without single salted egg yolk. The festival this year is coming up next week!!! A Happy Mid-Autumn Mooncake Festival to you and all loved ones. Cheers!!!

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  47. They are beautiful Mooncakes! I enjoyed reading the history behind them

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  48. Those cakes are beautiful! We've never seen them before nor have we heard of the festival.

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  49. Yummy. I took a couple of them.

    Thank you for joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Wordless Wednesday. ♥

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  50. Yum! May I please have one or two? I am always happy seeing and learning aobut new things.

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  51. Hello my friend how are you & yours? Very happy & very healthy I hope! Mmmmm I love cookies and those look like baby cakes. Yummmmm I love cakes & cookies and those look delicious. Thanks so much for sharing your story & the cakes. Mmmm eat a couple for me too would ya? I can almost taste them now! You take care of yourself & your family. God bless you all. Have a happy day! Hugs! Oh here my new link where my new blog is. https://newxmasdolly.blogspot.com/2021/09/wordless-wednesday.html God bless you & yours. Stay healthy & be happy & most of all be safe! God bless you & your family!

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  52. Nice to see mooncakes. And learn the backstory.
    Each of those looks like a work of art. Lovely!

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  53. Those cakes are amazingly beautiful! Thanks for sharing the story at TFT!

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  54. I need to dig out my mooncake presses I bought in a HK market years ago. I had not heard those stories before. Thnaks for sharing them

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  55. The cakes are beautiful and I guess delicious. Love the story behind the tradition.

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