"The sharp knife of a short life

I've had just enough time..."

- "If I Die Young" The Band Perry

I see Beauty in many things. And like the ghosts that only speak to you if you notice them, they tell me wondrous tales. With my camera and my thoughts, I captured these as faithfully as I can to share with you. And by doing so, they gave me the reasons. And though the thousand reasons may not all be sweet and some indeed bitter; they are still reasons to live. Come to think about it, that is Life, isn't it?

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Moon Cakes & the Legend of the Mid-Autumn Festivals

I've had just enough time to...   enjoy my moon cake and look at the moon

Taken in the Shanghai Bakery Exhibition

There are several distinctly different types of moon cakes but the most recognized is the Guang style with its thin smooth pastry-like skin and rich lotus bean paste. A yolk or two of the duck egg is usually added. This cake is only served once a year and available during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Thus, it becomes a very popular tradition to give a box of moon cakes to relatives and business clients during this period. It is a multi-billion dollars business in China and many bakeries made their entire year’s profit during this single month.

The humble moon cake has been associated with the overthrow of the Mongol of the Yuan Dynasty. To spread the words of a unified revolt, a secret message was put into the moon cakes that were distributed to the oppressed Han people. It said “Drive out the Mongols on the 15th of 8th lunar month!”. On that day, the populace answered the call and overthrow the Mongols and established the Ming Dynasty in 1368.

Another famous legend associated with the Mid-Autumn Festival is the story of the Ten Suns and the Lady of the Moon. You can listen to one version of the story in the You-Tube below. For me, the Mid-Autumn festival will always be about carrying lanterns and walking through the dark street together with friends when we were boys. We were too poor to buy the colourful paper lanterns so we made our own with milk cans that has cut-out patterns, stringed together with wires attached to a bamboo stick. We burned a candle inside the can and viola!, we have our tin can lantern. They are crude but indestructible! We will then create a ruckus by banging upon anything creating an unbearable din to drive away the dog that was trying to consume the moon. Sadly, this boisterous tradition is no longer practised by today’s kids. Not many even know about it. I think I will reach for my cup of Chinese tea and the slice of moon cake now…

The Legend of the Lady in the Moon - Chang Er


  1. A 1000 Reasons
    This picture was taken in a bakery exhibition in Shanghai a few years back and thought it appropriate to post it today as tonight, the full moon will shine the brightest of the year as it is the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The figurines that you saw are made from dough and are beautiful works of arts. This is one of the most colorful Chinese festivals and are associated with moon cakes and lanterns. There are also many legends attached to this festival including a rebellion, 10 suns, the lady and rabbit of the moon. You can read more about it in my blog but for me, it is something more...

    Fascinating figurines. And your description makes me want a box of moon cakes!

    ★♥♥Ever-Green Veronica♥♥ added this photo to her favorites.
    The photo is beautiful.... so nicely presented in these mini-statues............... We know the moon Cakes as there are many chinese activities here in our town... and besides this , before retiring we had a customer from Hong Kong , when he used to come to renew the contracts he brought us little gifts and also a little parcel with mooncakes.... and in one night of the Festival we stood looking at the moon ...and also his family, at the same time and sent (moon greetings) to each other .... I really loved this... and always think of our customer-friend during full moon in mid Autumn.....
    Thanks for bringing back this memory Dear Thou....
    I hope you are ok after your long trip... Have a good day/night/evening ... ♥♥♥

    ★ΞSSΞ®®Ξ and ineedathis added this photo to their favorites.

    Great artistic work on these pieces! in 15 minutes I be using that rolling pin as well:-)
    Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.


  2. "Chuck"
    This is a wonderful photo of beautiful art. I really enjoy learning of the moon festival and the history and tradition behind it. Have a happy holiday my friend. A toast to you from Sue and myself.
    ★"Chuck" added this photo to his favorites.

    ♥♥Ever-Green Veronica♥♥
    Wow.... I really enjoyed the photos in the blog spot and the info... Have a good weel my friend

    Awesome image and thanks for the background info. It always makes the images more interesting.

    henrhyde (gill)
    Beautiful capture and wonderful information.

    a very beautiful art work!
    must be a lovely and wonderful feast!

    ★ho.ge and i_still_believe_in_u added this photo to their favorites.

    A 1000 Reasons
    It is about dark nights and homemade lanterns, and driving the sky dog from consuming the moon. Sadly, the youngsters these days no longer follow the tradition of my youth when we would roam the streets with our lanterns and make great noises to chase away the sky dog...

    ★"Chuck" added this photo to his favorites.

    I told my wife of your email and your story of eagles and moon cakes . She told me to tell you that we would be more than willing to travel and meet you for moon cake and to celebrate the holiday. Then she said maybe she could bake you a cake and you could exchange moon cake via fed overnight. ha ha I think you have her mouth watering and you have piqued her interest in the holiday and culture.

    الله أكبر * " ALLAH HU AKBAR! "

    ★娜 娜☂Nana added this photo to her favorites.
    Did you eat moon cakes?

    娜 娜☂Nana
    Sweet dreams...My Dear friend (◕◡◕)

    fascinating image and explanation!

    ★Steve Taylor (Photography) added this photo to his favorites.
    They are really well made. Without the people in the background they could be life-size

    Cheri Sundra: Guerrilla Historian

    ★october blue added this photo to their favorites.
    A delightful image ...wonderful art ! I am sure the moon cakes are delicious ...especially while enjoyed while viewing a beautiful autumn moon . A great cultural tradition . Thanks for the fine image and interesting information :-)
    This photo was invited and added to the Art for Everyone! group.

    I feel the beauty of life in your photo
    ★retnos2602 added this photo to her favorites.

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