Origin of Mid-Autumn Festival

Origin of Mid-Autumn Festival

Sep. 03,2019

Mooncakes are the first delicacies on Mid-Autumn Festival. There are many theories about their origins. 

At the end of the Yuan Dynasty, Liu Bowen, the strategist of Zhu Yuanzhang, leader of the anti-Yuan uprising in Taizhou, Jiangsu Province, used the Mid-Autumn Festival people to give round cakes to each other and carried the note "Killing Tartars on August 15th Night" in the cakes.

Moon Cake

Moon Cake

Moon Cake

Everyone saw the note in the cake, spread ten, spread a hundred, as promised in the night together with the wicked "Tartar" (Yuan Bing), after the family eat cakes to celebrate the victory of the uprising, and officially called the Mid-Autumn Festival round cakes as moon cakes. For a long time to come, even at the end of the last century, there was a small piece of paper on many mooncakes. 

Unfortunately, the moon cakes produced in recent years have disappeared, and the "cultural code" contained in the moon cakes passed down from generation to generation has disappeared.

Another point is that in the early years of Hongwu Ming Dynasty, General Xu Da captured the remaining forces of the Yuan Dynasty in Beijing, and the news spread to Nanjing, the capital. Zhu Yuanzhang, the Ming Taizu, who was playing chess, was overjoyed. 

That is to say, he preached the Mid-Autumn Festival to celebrate everyday and rewarded his subjects with the moon cakes that conveyed information during the rebellion against the Yuan Dynasty. Since then, moon cakes have become the "legal" food for the Mid-Autumn Festival, and must be eaten.

Mooncakes, originated from the Tang Dynasty military Zhujie food. During Gaozu's reign in Tang Dynasty, General Li Jing conquered Turkic legends of concealment by mooncakes and triumphantly returned on August 15. Since then, eating mooncakes has become an annual custom. 

At that time, the Turpan businessmen offered the Tang emperor Tian Yuan Yijian, who used his soldier bed for battle, and a large number of beautiful women to celebrate with bread. Gaozu Li Yuan took over the gorgeous cake box, took out the round cake, pointed to the bright moon in the sky with a smile and said, "Toad should be invited to Hucai." After that, they shared the cake with the ministers.

In Wu Zimu's Dream Liang Lu of Southern Song Dynasty, the word "moon cakes" has been used. However, the description of moon-watching and eating in Mid-Autumn Festival is only recorded in the Ming Dynasty's "West Lake Tour Records Fair": "On August 15, the Mid-Autumn Festival is called the Mid-Autumn Festival, and the folk take the meaning of reunion with moon cakes." 

By the Qing Dynasty, there were more and more records about moon cakes, and the production became more and more elaborate.

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