The Mooncake Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, on the night of the full moon!
Mooncakes are named after the Chinese Moon Goddess. It is traditional for people to give each other mooncakes filled with sweet bean paste (often lotus bean, red bean and green bean) as a way to celebrate the year’s harvest. There are the old fashioned type, which are wrapped in a thin pastry and more modern ‘lighter’ versions made of fruit, vegetables, seafood, jelly (Agar-Agar) and even surprisingly, ice-cream!
Nowadays it is also a great reason to get together for family reunions, eat mooncakes and watch the moon. As Malaysia is a multicultural society, including a large population of Chinese, the Mooncake Festival is celebrated in style here in Sarawak!
The elaborately decorated boxes used to present the mooncakes are lovely to keep, as I do, for trinkets, jewellery boxes and as mementos.