Story of Moon Festival and introduction of moon cake
The Moon Festival is celebrated on the 15th of August according to the lunar calendar. It is one of the three major festivals in Taiwan, alongside the Chinese New Year and the Dragon Boat Festival.
One well-known aspect of the Moon Festival is the story of the moon goddess Chang'e, the moon rabbit, and the man chopping the osmanthus tree on the moon. However, there is another interesting tale associated with the festival. According to legend, Emperor Ming of Tang and a Taoist were admiring the full moon during the Moon Festival. The emperor expressed his wish to visit the moon palace, where Chang'e resides. Consequently, the Taoist used his magic to transform a board into a silver bridge leading to the moon.
The delighted emperor enjoyed beautiful music and dance performed by numerous fairies in white gowns. He memorized the melody and later composed a gorgeous musical composition called “Song of Rainbow Skirts and Feather Robes.”
In Mandarin, "full moon" sounds like "family reunion," making the moon a symbol of unity. It has also been a popular literary theme throughout history. The most famous work inspired by the moon is a five-character quatrain called “Quiet Night Thought,” written by the famous Tang poet, Li Bai, which speaks to his homesickness.
The round shape of the mooncake is a common pastry consumed during the Moon Festival. Traditional mooncakes consist of tender pastry skin and sweet fillings such as sweet bean paste, lotus seed paste, or jujube paste. The addition of a whole salted egg yolk in the center is beloved and symbolizes the full moon. Nowadays, mooncake fillings have become more varied, with flavors like green tea, taro paste, chocolate, coffee, lava custard, and different fruit pastes testing the limits of people’s appetites.
Food is always a delightful part of any festival, and the Taiwanese people especially enjoy sharing sweet pastries and admiring the full moon with their families.