Moon Cake Festival ( Mid Autumn Festival )

Moon Cake Festival

Moon Cake Festival September 12, 2011

The Moon Cake Festival, also known as the Mid Autnm Festiva, is a very important Chinese festival that celebrates the yearly harvest and also one of few important Chinese festivals celebrated in Thailand every year due to Thailand’s high Thai-Chinese population. This year the Moon Cake Festival will be celebrated on September 12th.

mooncakeThe traditional center piece of the Mid Autumn Festival is the Moon Cakes in all their many delicious varieties. Most westerners aren’t familiar with moon cakes; commonly found in Chinese bakeries these sweet cakes are made in the shape of the moon and filled with sesame seeds, ground lotus seeds and duck eggs is served as a traditional Chung Chiu delicacy. Nobody actually knows when the custom of eating moon cake of celebrate the Moon Festival began, but one relief traces its origin to the 14th century. At the time, China was in revolt against the Mongols. Chu Yuen-chang, and his senior deputy, Liu Po-wen, discussed battle plan and developes a secret moon cake strategy to take a certain walled city held by the Mongol enemy. Liu dressed up as a Taoist priest and entered the besieged city bearing moon cake. He distributed these to the city’s populace. When the time for the year’s Chung Chiu festival arrived, people opened their cakes and found hidden messages advising them to coordinate their uprising with the troops outside. Thus, the emperor-to-be ingeniously took the city and his throne. Moon cakes of course, became even more famous.

moon cakeTrue or not Moon Cakes have become a staple to the Mid Autumn Festival which is commonly referred to as the Moon Cake Festival. Some of the more popular moon cakes are the ones made with Durian, Lotus Seed paste, Black Sesame or my favorite Green Tea. No matter what your favorite Moon Cake might be or even if you have yet to sample one of these sweet treats it’s a sure bet that the best place to experience the Moon Cake Festival will be in Bangkok’s very own Chinatown.

Yaowarat is one of the oldest areas of Bangkok, originally settled long ago by Chinese traders it has become the center of Chinese tradition amid the bustling Thai city and one of Bangkok’s top attractions. During the important Chinese Festivals of the year, such as the Mid Autumn Festival, Chinatown comes alive with the sound of music, the sweet aroma of freshly cooked moon cakes and the vibrant and colorful dragon dancers winding through the small shop laden streets and alleyways.

Moon CakeIf you are in Thailand then the best place to witness this delicious festival will be in Bangkok’s Chinatown but no matter where you are in the world there is a good chance that a Chinese bakery is close at hand, so, if you get a chance stop in and pick up a Moon Cake or two and experience the delicious tradition of the Moon Cake Festival for yourself.

For more information on upcoming Events and Festivals in Thailand please visit the Thailand Events Calender.




20 Responses to Moon Cake Festival ( Mid Autumn Festival )
  1. Oneditorial
    September 7, 2011 | 3:50 am

    This is so unfair. I used to eat this cake every time the season arrived. My friends always gave it to me every year. It is very yummy.

  2. Paul Garrigan
    September 7, 2011 | 6:30 am

    Hi Talen, I was actually a bit disappointed when I tasted these for the first time. Maybe I should try again. They look very fattening though.
    Paul Garrigan recently posted..Yesterday I Thought I Had Killed Paulgarrigan.comMy Profile

    • Talen
      September 7, 2011 | 11:27 am

      Paul, I was very disappointed the fist time I ate a moon cake as well, wasn’t very tasty but there are many variations. The black sesame is pretty good and so is the green tea.
      Talen recently posted..Moon Cake Festival ( Mid Autumn Festival )My Profile

  3. Mihnea
    September 7, 2011 | 9:18 am

    I’m not a big fan of sweets and, I don’t know why, I’ve always been put off by the sight of a Moon Cake. I guess I’ll have to give it a try, once and for all…
    Mihnea recently posted..Darts in BangkokMy Profile

  4. Martyn
    September 7, 2011 | 11:50 am

    Talen you hadn’t posted for a while and I thought maybe you’d eaten a different kind of Moon Festival cake and were lying on a beach somewhere as high as a kite.

    The story behind these Chinese Moon Cakes, the one involving Liu Po-wen, is another great example of the great fables which are attached to many festivals around the world. Call me a soft romantic but I love reading about these kind of things. A Chinese warrior dressed as a Taoist priest carrying a Moon cake filled with secret messages into a city held by the enemy. Great stuff.

    I’ve never tried Moon cake before but with my sweet tooth I’m sure I’d enjoy a slice or two with a really sweet cup of tea.

    • Talen
      September 8, 2011 | 11:46 am

      Martyn, nah I’m still alive and well just been taking some time for myself and enjoying life. I love the stories behind the festivals and traditions as well…it adds to the overall experience.

  5. Rambone
    September 8, 2011 | 11:25 am

    When I read that Durian was one of the main ingredients I cringed… reminds me of Charlie Brown on Halloween, his friends got tasty candy but he got stuck with a rock. Even the guy on the food channel who will eat ANYTHING can’t stomach durian.

    • Talen
      September 8, 2011 | 11:44 am

      Rambone, durian isn’t the main ingredient of all moon cakes only the durian moon cakes…there are many different varieties. and belkieve it or not durian in other forms than it’s natural state can be quite good. I won’t go near a fresh durian but I love durian chips…like potato chips but durian.

  6. Joseph
    September 9, 2011 | 9:42 am

    I didn’t realize how interesting moon cake’s history is. I understand now why there is festival held to honor it. I miss eating moon cakes; I would to try the durian flavor. I am a big fan of the fruit, it doesn’t smell that good but it is delicious.
    Joseph recently to flirt with a girlMy Profile

  7. Jane
    September 9, 2011 | 10:31 am

    I want to eat the different varieties of mooncake but I really love Durian too. This festivities like this is really awesome beacuse of the stories behind the festivals and traditions as well.
    Jane recently posted..What Do You Prefer Most – Love Or Sex?My Profile

  8. Lani
    September 9, 2011 | 2:02 pm

    Great post. I was wondering what holiday was producing all these moon cakes to show up – EVERYWHERE. I thought the harvest festival was way too far out in time for it to be the reasons. And I was wrong.

    Yum. The cakes are a childhood favorite. And you found some yummy looking pictures too!!! :D Cheers,
    Lani recently posted..let’s pretend it’s wednesdayMy Profile

  9. Snap
    September 9, 2011 | 9:33 pm

    I first saw moon cakes about 5 years ago in Malaysia, at some ridiculous price, by local standards. I ate them a week later in China at a friends place. Back then I didn’t/couldn’t relate to some of the fillings…or the privilege of being offered them for morning tea.

    I do now.

    I’m guessing China Town (Warorot Market) in Chiang Mai would be the best place to buy them :)
    Snap recently posted..Heaven in a banana leaf cupMy Profile

  10. Mike
    September 12, 2011 | 2:11 pm

    Hi Talen,
    is it a public festival? I thought it’s mainly celebrated with family members at home, or going out for dinner with family.
    Is there something happening in Chinatown that is worth visiting there?
    And it’s a fascinating story, thanks for sharing it!!!
    Mike recently posted..Khlong Lord MarketMy Profile

  11. Catherine
    September 18, 2011 | 6:55 pm

    Talen, remember that insanely dangerous and mind-boggling thing we’re going to do? After I reach my goal? Well, then you’ll understand why I can’t take even a wee peek at this post (but I’m saving it until later – sure!)
    Catherine recently posted..Compiling a Top 100 Thai Vocabulary ListMy Profile

  12. ChuckWow
    September 23, 2011 | 2:35 pm

    What happened to Talen ? 17 days without a new post.

    Did he drown in the floods in Pattaya or did the jet ski scammers get him ?

  13. Eva
    September 23, 2011 | 6:46 pm

    Ummmm! The cake looks yummy, I just cannot resist. :)
    Eva recently posted..Certified Medical AssistantMy Profile

  14. Joe
    September 29, 2011 | 4:56 pm

    Where are you Talen ? Hope all is well.

  15. Jake
    September 29, 2011 | 10:50 pm

    I wish I could be there… This sounds like a great event and even better cake!

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