Today is the Chinese Moon Festival, similar to, and held at the similar time as our own Harvest Moon Festival. It is a time to get together with families and friends for dinner and to celebrate the harvest. Most businesses in China close for several days. I just received a fax from an Associate in China that stated they would be closed from yesterday through Friday for the Moon Festival. The festival started more as a military victory for the Ming dynasty, and several fairy tales have grown up around it, but today it is very much a time for families to gather.

We held our celebration this past weekend.

One of the traditions of the Moon Festival is eating Moon cakes, shown in the picture above. One of the unique aspects of these cakes is that some of them have hard boiled duck egg yolk in the center. They can be made of bean paste or lotus seed paste – not exactly your typical cakes!

One of the Chinese fairy tales about the Moon festival is: In Chinese fairy tales, there live on the moon the fairy Chang E, a wood cutter named Wu Gang and a jade rabbit which is Chang E’s pet. In the old days, people paid respect to the fairy Chang E and her pet the jade rabbit.

The tale and some poems are found here.

Other facts about the moon festival can be found here.

And a San Fransisco site here.

Harvest Moon information here.