The Mid-Autumn Festival (Mooncake Festival), simplified Chinese: 中秋节 zhōng qiū jié.The festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar, corresponding from late September to early October of the Gregorian calendar when the moon is full at night. The Mid-Autumn Festival, which began in the early Tang dynasty, prevailed in the Song dynasty and became one of the traditional Chinese festivals, similar to the Spring Festival.This culture lesson we are going to learn about this mooncake festival and how to make mooncakes. First, lets learn about the culture. In ancient China, it was common to appreciate the beauty of the moon, admire the moon, make a good wish to the moon, take part in quiz games, make mooncakes, make lanterns and drink Guihua alcohol.Chinese people believed there were gods on the moon, so they prepared some food for them. This was done to hope they can protect us as Autumn is the time to harvest the crops so we hope we can have a successful harvest.Look at the moon, drink some Guihua alcohol, enjoy the scenery and make a wish. There is a famous ancient poetry’s sentence :
“明月几时有，把酒问青天。不知天上宫阙，今夕是何年！” （míng yuè jǐ shí yǒu，bǎ jiǔ wèn qīng tiān。bù zhī tiān shàng gōng què jīn xī shì hé nián! ） that describes the people’s relationships when they are not in the same place with their family and they miss them, Although they are not together, they can still look at the same moon, they don’t know what time is this moment now on the moon. That’s the most famous sentence used during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Quiz game, we write a lot of quiz questions on a paper, if you answer the questions right you can get a prize. We also make lanterns. To make a lantern, we use the bamboo chip and paper to make it, after we finish we can put it on the water.In ancient China the people would look at the moon and eat the mooncakes to reminisce about their family members when they are no longer together.Now we will introduce how to make the mooncakes and teach you step by step. The type of mooncakes we made at Omeida are called: 冰皮月饼 this is only traditional in the South of China and is made from different ingredients to the original mooncakes. They do not need to be baked.The dough is made from sticky rice, it is prepared and refrigerated, then we dust our hands with flour and break a small amount of dough off and roll it into a ball.The dough is then made flat and opened like a birds nest. Next you take some filling, there are various flavors of fillings. The filling is made from fruit like mango or from peanuts or red beans. The filling is then rolled into a small ball and put it into the birds nest center of the dough. We then gently wrap the dough to close up the filling in the center and roll it again to make it round.Once it is completed we then choose a mold that you’d like to use and put the pattern into the mold. Pressing the mold onto the table to ensure the pattern forms on the dough.Now gently lift the mold and Voilà! remove your beautifully made 冰皮月饼 (bīng pí yuè bing) from it!Hope to see you here next Autumn to celebrate mooncake festival! 中秋节快乐！(zhōng qiū jié kuài lè)
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