Mid-Autumn Festival (also known as Moon Festival) is a time where every household will come together and make a variety of delicious food to celebrate the festival. Over the years, the rich and colourful Moon Festival’s diet customs were formed. However, these dishes were not just formed randomly, each and every one of them have a special meaning/background behind them.
The three main (healthy and easy-to-make) Mid-Autumn Festival recipes we will be introducing are: Chinese Dumplings, Steamed Fish, and Spring Rolls
In China, people often time eat dumplings (jiaozi) during Moon Festival because ‘jiaozi’ has a similar sound to a word meaning ‘bidding farewell to the old and ushering in the new” in Chinese. Some people also like to wrap a one-yuan ($1), fifty-cent or ten-cent coin in some of the dumplings, as a token of good fortune for those who eat them. This is said to ensure good luck and prosperity in the upcoming months following the festival.
Fish (yu) is an important item on the dining table for families on the night of Moon Festival, since its pronunciation also has a similar sound to a word meaning ” having more than just a basic need”. Due to this, many people just eat the middle part of the fish on the night of the festival, and leave the rest (the fish’s head and tail) for the next day to symbolize “completeness”. In addition, a particularly important fact to note is the placement of the fish on the dining table. The fish must be placed with its head facing toward the elders, as it is a sign of respect.
3) Vegetable Spring Rolls
Spring Rolls (also named Spring Cakes) have a long history in China. Early in the Eastern Jin Dynasty (316-420), people would eat ‘Spring Plate’, a dish with thin flour-made cakes at the center of the plate and green vegetables around them, on the First Day of Harvest every year. The special plating of the dish was to symbolize the the healthy harvest of the crops under the sun.
With the development of cooking techniques, ‘Spring Cake’ soon evolved into the present lovely golden spring rolls made of thin flour wrappers with various fillings – sweet or savory, meat or vegetables.
The three recipes above are all healthy substitutes for the original Autumn Festival dishes.
We hope you enjoy it! 🙂
If you are interested in learning more about the story behind Autumn’s Festival then click here
Written by Annie Lo, Marketing Manager of Hunger Actions