The mid-autumn festival is a holiday I have always liked in China because it is the very first holiday I celebrated here. I love walking around at night when everything is decorated with lights and lanterns and the air is lightly crisp. I also have a fascination with mooncakes. Maybe it is an obsession.
It does not make much sense, but every time I celebrate the mid-autumn festival, I buy a bunch of mooncakes because I hate the taste. Seriously. As the first holiday I ever celebrated in China, I wanted desperately to understand it and mooncakes were a large part of the holiday. Mooncake stands popped up everywhere and everyone was buying and giving mooncakes. I figured they must be good or they wouldn’t be so popular so I kept trying different mooncakes to find the good ones. Some advice from my experiences, any mooncake that costs 1 yuan or less is not worth eating. Traditional mooncakes are heavy and oily and terrible. Some people like the yokes, I don’t. I have since found that the modern mooncakes actually taste pretty good though many chinese don’t consider them to be mooncakes. The ice cream ones are wonderful, the fruit ones remind me of fig newtons, and the mochi ones are delicious!
Mooncakes apparently vary by area as well. This one above is the local traditional mooncake. It is perishable and doesn’t last forever like the other mystery cakes. It reminds me very much of fruit cake and I have grown accustomed to eating it because there are tons of them in my house.
This is the amazing mochi mooncake. It seems somehow wrong to buy a Chinese mooncake at a Japanese bakery, but mochi is so yummy. These are actually very expensive, almost comparable to the mochi I buy in the US.
Much like American holidays, we did not do anything special during the day and then simply had dinner together as a family to celebrate the holiday.