We are getting ready to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival this week. All Chinese festivals are based on the lunar calendar. The 15th day of the 8th month is called Mid-Autumn.
For most expats I think Mid-Autumn Festival is lovely called Mooncake Festival because of the tradition of eating and giving mooncakes during the festival.
Mooncakes are a round pastry, about 3" in diameter with an inside filling, traditional of red bean paste, and/or a salted duck yolk but more recently they are made with many different yummy, and sweeter fillings. They are difficult and labor intensive to make so most everyone buys them in the stores. They typically sell for a moderate priced box of 4-6, for $40, they aren't cheap.
Out in the expat community I've seen Starbucks and Mrs. Fields getting into the festival with their own take of mooncakes, coffee flavor and cookie filled, respectively. Pretty funny.
Here is a box that we were given for the holiday with 6 and an individually wrapped mooncake.
One of the French style pastry shops in Beijing is offering a fruit jelly filled mooncake, those are what I am most excited to try this year.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival everyone!