Bon is one of the oldest religions in the world, originating from the inland region…
Eating mooncakes: Eating mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival is a traditional custom that has been passed down in China for a long time. Mooncakes are a type of food that is shaped like a full moon and contains delicious fillings. In his book “Seasons of Yanjing” from the Qing Dynasty, the literary figure Fuchun Dunchong wrote that during the Mid-Autumn Festival, “mooncakes were everywhere, some as large as a foot, decorated with images of the moon palace and the jade rabbit. Some people ate them immediately after offering them to the moon, while others kept them for a long time before eating them. They were called reunion cakes.” This historical record shows that mooncakes were originally a sacrificial offering to the moon, but also served as a symbol of reunion because of their round shape.
Eating ducks: According to tradition, the number of people eating duck is highest on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. There are three reasons for this custom: first, it is due to the tradition of eating duck and enjoying the moon while eating rolled pancakes; second, ducks during the Mid-Autumn Festival season are plump and delicious; third, ducks are considered a cooling food and are good for nourishing yin and moistening dryness to prevent autumn dryness. This festival can be called “Duck Day,” and cities like Nanjing, Beijing, and Shanghai have a tradition of eating roast duck during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Eating taro: Taro is a delicious seasonal snack that has the reputation of being “vegetables in normal times and grains in years of famine” due to its characteristics of being unappetizing to locusts since ancient times. It has been highly praised by people, and in some parts of Guangdong during the Mid-Autumn Festival, it is customary to eat taro. At this time, every household will cook a pot of taro, gather together, enjoy the beauty of the moon while savoring the delicious aroma of taro. Eating taro during the Mid-Autumn Festival also symbolizes not believing in evil spirits. In the Qing Dynasty Qianlong’s “Chaozhou Gazetteer,” it was written that “during the Mid-Autumn Festival, when enjoying the moon, people would peel taro and eat it, which was called ‘peeling ghost skin’.”
Eating snails:Eating snails during the Mid-Autumn Festival is a unique culinary custom in Guangdong, where people believe that it can improve eyesight. According to analysis, snail meat is rich in nutrients and contains vitamin A, which is an important substance for visual pigments in the eyes. Eating snails can indeed improve eyesight, which makes sense, but why do people have a particular enthusiasm for eating them during the Mid-Autumn Festival? Some people believe that this is the best time to eat snails as they are particularly plump and delicious during the period when they are not pregnant with small snails, which is around the time of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Nowadays, eating snails under the moonlight during the Mid-Autumn Festival has become a unique custom in Guangdong, Guangxi, and other regions.
Braised Water Shield with Perch: Water shield is a seasonal soup dish for the Mid-Autumn Festival and the month of August. Also known as water chestnut grass or water dropwort, it is an aquatic perennial herbaceous plant. The roots, stems, and leaves of water shield are not only bright green and fragrant, but also fresh, tender, tasty, and nutritious, making it possible to harvest in both spring and autumn. The reason why water shield and perch have become dishes on the Mid-Autumn Festival family feast is not only because they taste good during this season, but also because in the Jin Dynasty, Zhang Han used “water shield and perch” to express homesickness and abandoned his official career to return to his hometown. Water shield is usually used to make soup and broth dishes, while perch can be fried, deep-fried, or steamed. Due to its delicate and delicious meat, ancient people often used it to make braised dishes, which involves using raw fish slices. Chefs use the story of “autumn thoughts of water shield and perch” to create a soup dish with a unique Jiangnan flavor by combining West Lake water shield with Qianjiang perch.
Drinking Osmanthus Wine: On the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, people look up at the osmanthus flowers in the moon and smell their sweet fragrance. They drink a cup of osmanthus honey wine to celebrate and enjoy a sweet time with their families. This has become a beautiful enjoyment of the festival. Osmanthus has a fragrant smell that is refreshing and invigorating. Ancient people praised it saying, “Although it is not spectacular, it overwhelms the nine autumns with its clear fragrance.” China is the hometown of osmanthus, and it has a cultivation history of 2500 years. The “Classic of Mountains and Seas” records “a mountain with many osmanthus trees”. The patriot poet Qu Yuan also wrote in his poem “Nine Songs”: “Do not drink osmanthus wine, but pepper sauce”, which shows that as early as the Qin and Han dynasties, osmanthus had already aroused great interest among people. Today, people’s love for osmanthus has only increased over time. It can be seen that the Chinese tradition of making wine from osmanthus flowers dates back quite far.