The Mid Autumn Festival, which typically falls on the 15th day of the 8th Lunar month, is the 3rd major festival of the Chinese Calendar, (following after Chinese New Year and the Spring Festival). Also known as the Moon Festival, because at this time of year the moon is at it's highest and brightest, it will be celebrated this year on the 19th September. The build up to this Festival, has been a flurry of Mooncakes for sale everywhere.
Traditionally round to symbolize the moon, moon gazing and also the reunion of family; today these Mooncakes are customarily given to family and friends as gifts. These pastries have a rich thick filling of red bean paste, lotus seed paste together sometimes with a salted egg (again to symbolize the moon). Although modern day cakes can now contain any number of different flavored fillings, all in all though, these little cakes pack a hefty punch. A 10cm (3.9") cake can contain approximately 1,000 calories!!! Yikes!
Most of the major Hotels and restaurants here in singapore will have their own special Mooncakes for sale. The packaging on some of these things are just beautiful.
My local Mall, Vivocity, had an expo - The Wonderful World of Mooncakes -running from Mid August until 19th September, showcasing the wares of some of the big Hotels. You can wander around the stalls and taste some samples of the different flavored Mooncakes. I tried a few but balked when I got the Durian flavored Mooncakes! The smell from that stall had me backing away pretty rapidly.
To the left is the price list for the Goodwood Park Hotel Mooncakes. This Historic Singapore Hotel has a wide range of cakes on offer.
Below is the price list from The Fairmont Hotel, together with a few pictures from their leaflet. Baileys flavored snowcake?! Mmmm!
Even Starbucks gets in on the act. They offer 3 flavors of Mooncakes, Traditional White Lotus Paste with Egg Yolk, Coffee White Lotus Paste with Almond, and Green Tea White Lotus Paste with Black Sesame and Almond.
A box of 8 Starbucks Mooncakes would set you back S$43.80. You could buy the individual cakes for just under S$5 - I admit to trying the Coffee one - it was really very good.
Of course China Town is the hub for all things Mid Autumn Festival. On a recent tour we went to a famous Mooncake bakery in China Town, Tai Thong Cake Shop on Mosque Street. We got to see how they were made.
Pomelo fruit is also a popular item for giving and eating during the festival. They are round (like the moon) and Autumn is when they are in season. China Town was full of stalls selling different varieties of Pomelo fruit.