I know, it’s a little early to be posting mooncake photos but when you consider how early I received mine this year and how much earlier they have been available for sale at food outlets make my blog somewhat late in comparison.
This annual traditional Chinese celebration is called Mid-Autumn Festival aka Moon Festival and is popularly called zhōngqiūjié (pinyin). Apparently, this festival is a celebration of abundance and togetherness dating back to China’s Zhou Dynasty where people celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival to worship the moon. This explains the origin of the name and shape. “The round mooncake symbolizes the family circle and the flavour brings to mind the sweetness of familial ties” according to an exerpt from The Asia Times. Hence, I titled this blog an annual “O“bsession.
The modern mooncake comes in a bilwildering flavours to suit the exotic taste buds of ever demanding customers. Pictured here is a more traditional Lotus Paste with Two Eggs variety—denoted by the four embossed Chinese characters on top of each mooncake, an obvious thing of course if you understand the language.
What remains a mystery to me however is that mooncakes are typically available in a set of four. But why four? Isn’t the number 4 considered unlucky in many Asian cultures? Not so according to a quick Wikipedia revelation …
The number 4 is considered lucky in some regions of China where it is homonymous in the local dialect to the word “事” (job, business, or task). When the number 4 is encountered during a celebration, people would often remark “四四如意”, which would also refer to “事事如意” (Everything done as wished); however, it is more commonly seen as bad luck in modern times, especially in dialects where its pronunciation is homonymic to the word “death” (死).
Let’s see if we get a full moon tomorrow night. We do have a full moon this evening but the night sky wasn’t as clear as I would have preferred. Captured this at 8.30 pm on my EOS 20D at 640mm end on the EF100-400 L lens and trying hard to stay focused in a mossie feeding frenzy.