In the words of my dear friend RMG, "Happy Mooncake/Mid-Autumn Festival!" RMG & her spouse CG recently returned from a year in Malaysia. This was one of the first festivals they were able to take part in when they arrived in KL just over a year ago. Their 11 months or so in Malaysia makes my 4 weeks or so seem miniscule. But no matter the amount of time Malaysia has impacted our lives.
My memory doesn't serve me well to remember if I have tasted these beautiful pastries known as mooncakes. I was in Malaysia the wrong time of year to take part in this festival. Naturally the festival came to be because of political history. RMG tells the story beautifully:
Zhu Yuanzhang and Moon Cake Uprising Legend
In late Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368 AD), people in many parts of the country could not bear the cruel rule of the government and rose in revolt. ZhuYuanzhang, founder of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 AD), united the different resistance forces and wanted to organize an uprising. However, due to the constant searches by government, it was very difficult to pass messages. The counselor Liu Bowen had the great idea of hiding notes with “Rise up on the night of August 15th” in moon cakes and had them sent to different resistance forces. The uprising turned out to be very successful and Zhu was so happy that he awarded his subjects with moon cakes on the following Mid-Autumn Festival in celebration. Since then, eating moon cakes has been a custom on Mid-Autumn Festival.
Today soak in the adventure of mooncakes & if there's a local Asian bakery or grocery near you, see if you can find some to taste with your tea!