Mid-autumn festival in China brings moon cake culture


As October approaches, so does the 2009 Mid-Autumn Festival in China. The China Guide invites you to share in the festivities and try one of the longest-standing cake recipes in history – the Moon Cake.

Moon cakes are created in hand-made wooden molds that give them their traditional shape. Filled with lotus seed paste, duck eggs and yolks, (and other variations) they are different than a western-style cake. Fillings vary and some are heavier on the waistline than others.

More important than actually eating moon cakes is giving and receiving them. If someone gives you moon cakes it shows they respect you and appreciate their relationship with you. Not giving them is also a sign, so westerners doing business in China should consider this. Its unlikely you will go wrong giving, so if you are in doubt go ahead and give.

Packaging, price, and quality are also part of the complex gift giving ritual. If you give your business associate cheap moon cakes, it is a reflection of their value to you. Best not to buy your moon cakes at Wal-Mart in Beijing. Try one of the traditional local shops or visit one of the international hotel chains to buy a decent gift set.

In autumn, The China Guide www.thechinaguide.com will be introducing travelers to moon cake taste and culture. The China Guide offers tours throughout China that showcase its ancient heritage alongside the modern. “We want our travelers to have local experiences in China. Shopping for and eating moon cakes are an aspect of China’s history that has a strong place in the modern world,” says Peter Danford, director of The China Guide.