Moon Cake for Longevity and Harmony

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One of the celebrated festivals among the Chinese Tradition is the Mid-Autumn Festival or commonly known as The Moon cake festival. It is held when the moon is at its fullest and roundest every 15th day of the eight month in the Chinese calendar which usually falls on September or early October in the Gregorian calendar. This year, the Mid-Autumn Festival will fall on September 12, 2011. 
mooncake
The traditional food of this festival is the moon cake, of which are presented in many different flavors. The accustomed moon cake has red bean paste or lotus paste filing with the option of salted egg yolk stuffed inside. Other filings include green tea, yam, chestnut, dates and different kinds of nuts.
 
Moon cakes contain a whole salted egg yolk in its center to symbolize the full moon. It consists of a thin and soft skin with a sweet dense filling.  Some are served steamed or fried, but I like the traditional moon cake as shown in my picture. Chinese characters are imprinted on top for longevity or harmony.
The festival is similar to Thanksgiving.  Children are allowed to stay up late on this occasion to enjoy moon gazing. Here in the Philippines, the festival is celebrated joyfully in the streets of Binondo area in Manila, commonly known as the place of the Chinese community. Parades of brightly lit lanterns, lighting lanterns on towers and floating sky lanterns can be seen. Fire Dragon Dances in the streets adds to the entertainment. They also do not forget the burning of incense in reverence to the deities.

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