It’s almost time to celebrate the Moon Festival, on October 4th, with a festive, authentic Mooncake, traditionally made in the style of a delicate egg custard. You can buy moon cakes in traditional Asian supermarkets, in London’s Chinatown, or head to the Royal China restaurant and savour the art of the pastry chef.
Every year, on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, when the moon is at its fullest and brightest, Chinese and other Asian cultures celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival (also known as the Moon Festival). The Moon Festival, which can be traced all the way back to the 10th century BC, is a celebration of the end of the harvest and it honours the full moon as a symbol of prosperity, happiness and the coming together of loved ones.
Classic Cantonese Mooncakes with Lotus Seed Paste and Duck Egg
The key traditions involve the lighting of colourful lanterns, drinking cassia wine, and enjoying Mooncakes. These special cakes are remarkably dense and delicately decorated pastries with intricate patterns and thick fillings. Their round shape denotes completeness and togetherness and sharing the moon cakes signifies the unity of families. While there are many variations of Mooncakes, the most famous is the classic Cantonese version, which is infused with sweet lotus seed paste and savoury salted duck egg yolk. Because one small cake contains about 975 calories, it is usually shared amongst a few people and eaten in small wedges accompanied by Chinese tea.
The Moon Festival is celebrated in countries like China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and Taiwan but you can now celebrate the Moon Festival on 4 October 2017 at Royal China, a restaurant renowned for its traditional Dim-Sum. Enjoy a Mooncake at the end of your meal, or could buy a box of Mooncakes to take home, priced at £23.80, made in-house by Royal China’s pastry chefs.
Written by Sonam Nundoochan and Edited by Alison Jane Reid.