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月饼 (yuèbĭng) Moon Cake

Feb. 22, 2015

Chinese Food for Mid-Autumn Festival

月饼(yuèbĭng) Moon Cake

The Origin of Moon Cake

Moon cake comes from the Yuan Dynasty. During that time, people would not stand the cruel domination taking place, so many people staged uprisings to fight against the Yuan Dynasty rulers. Zhu Yuanzhang, the most prominent one, united all the people to start the uprisings. Unfortunately, government soldiers checked correspondences so strictly that it was hard for him to deliver messages to his fellow rebels. Soon the leader had a good idea: to hide messages in a cake to inform his people. Finally the uprising succeeded, and Zhu Yuanzhang designated the “message cake” as the main food in the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival. From then on, moon cake has always played an important role in the festival’s celebrations.

Meaning of Moon Cake

Everyone will eat moon cakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Moon cake is the most traditional and important food in this holiday. It is round in shape, signifying family reunions and best wishes. That’s why people in China buy and send moon cakes on Mid-Autumn Festival. There are all kinds of moon cakes to choose from, and those hailing from Beijing, Suzhou, and Guangdong tend to be most popular. What’s especially important in moon cakes is the filling. The traditional fillings are sweetened bean paste, sesame, sugar and others. But now there are new fillings being invented all the time.

Modern Style Moon Cake
Recently, the concept of moon cake has been updated to incorporate better into our lives today. Let’s hear about some new styles of moon cake:

冰淇淋月饼(bīngqílín yuèbĭng) Ice Cream Moon Cake

Ice cream moon cake is made completely of ice cream, and made to look just like moon cake. Although the festival happens in mid-autumn, the weather often stays fairly warm, so many people enjoy eating ice cream moon cake—especially kids.

保健月饼(bǎojiàn yuèbĭng) Health Food Moon Cake

Health food moon cake is a style of cake that is meant to benefit people’s health. It is made of many healthy ingredients such as ginseng, calcium, medicated food and other things that are good for health.

纳凉月饼(nàliáng yuèbĭng) Naliang Food Moon Cake

This is the latest creation of moon cake. Its fillings are made with lily, green bean or tea. All of them have a cooling effect on the body.

1. 冰淇淋(bīngqílín) n. ice cream

2. 保健(bǎojiàn) n. health food; health care

3. 纳凉(nàliáng) v. to enjoy a cool weather

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