Mid Autumn Festival, one of the traditional festivities of many Asian nations, takes place in the middle of the eighth lunar month. Each Asian country has a typical cake associated with this occasion.
Japan’s Tsukimi Dango cakes (Photo: loptiengnhat.edu.vn)
For the Tsukimi traditional festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival on 15th day of 8th lunar month, Japanese people self make Tsukimi Dango cakes, a kind of white soft pastry made of glutinous rice.
The shape of the cake depends on the culture of each region but mainly are round symbolizing the moon.
The cake originates from an ancient story, about seen a rabbit pounding flour to make cakes on the moon. Since then the moon rabbit and the Tsukimi Dango cake have become a familiar image in the Japanese culture.
People from the land of the rising sun often display the cakes in a triangular tower on wooden shelves. The cakes are offered to the God during the full moon to pray for a bumper harvest in the upcoming season.
The Republic of Korea’s Songpyeon cakes
The Republic of Korea has a special kind of cake for Mid-Autumn Festival, the Songpyeon - a half-moon shaped rice cake. Koreans believe that a new moon waxing to a full moon represents growth.
The cake is made by kneading rice powder with hot water and stuffing the dough with beans, sesame, chestnuts and other fillings before steaming the cake.
An old Korean tale goes that the person who makes a beautifully-shaped Songpyeon will meet a good spouse or give birth to a beautiful baby. On the Mid Autumn Festival, families in South Korea often gather together to make Songpyeon cakes.
Hopia is the traditional moon cake of the Philippines. Hopia crust is not decorated delicately or intricately. The outer cover is filled with green beans or red beans and then baked.
The crunchy crust is unique and creates the signature flavor for the Philippines’ moon cakes.
Singapore’s snow skin mooncakes (Photo: ricenflour.com)
Snow skin mooncake is Singapore’s typical cake eaten during the Mid Autumn Festival. The cake has a soft and chewy outer cover with a soft and fragrant filling.
The crust is made of sticky flour with eye-catching appearance. The cake is always kept cold.
The Philippines’ hopia cakes
Three indispensable activities during Mid Autumn Festival in Malaysia are moon watching, cake eating, and the lantern parade. Malaysia’s mooncakes are diverse, often in the shape of sea shells, flowers, or stars in addition to the traditional round cakes.
Chinese mooncakes have a reddish-brown thin and glossy crust. Traditional fillings include lotus seeds, green beans, and salted eggs. There is a positive message lettered on the surface of the cake. VOV5