来源：网络资源 作者：匿名 2009-09-20 17:53:16
Mid-autumn Day is a Chinese festival. It usually comes in September or October .On that day we usually eat a big dinner and mooncakes. It is said "Hou Yi" missed his wife, so he made mooncakes. It looks like the moon. There are many kinds of mooncakes. They are small round cakes with meat, nuts or something sweet inside . eating mooncakes has been our custom. Families stay outside in the open air eat a big dinner and mooncakes. The most important thing is looking at the moon, On that day, the moon kooks brighter and rounder. We call this moon the full moon. On that day, families get together, so we call this day getting –together. This is Mid –autumn Day. I love it very much. Because on that day I can eat mooncakes. And my brother comes back home. He works outside all year. Only that day and the Spring Festival. He comes back. So that day I am especially happy. On that day my family gets together
The joyous Mid-Autumn Festival was celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth moon，around the time of the autumn equinox（秋分）. Many referred to it simply as the “Fifteenth of the Eighth Moon”.
This day was also considered as a harvest festival since fruits，vegetables and grain had been harvested by this time and food was abundant. Food offerings were placed on an altar set up in the courtyard. Apples，pears，peaches，grapes，pomegranates（石榴），melons，oranges and pomelos（柚子）might be seen. Special foods for the festival included moon cakes，cooked taro（芋头）and water caltrope（菱角），a type of water chestnut resembling black buffalo horns. Some people insisted that cooked taro be included because at the time of creation，taro was the first food discovered at night in the moonlight. Of all these foods，it could not be omitted from the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The round moon cakes，measuring about three inches in diameter and one and a half inches in thickness，resembled Western fruitcakes in taste and consistency. These cakes were made with melon seeds（西瓜子），lotus seeds（莲籽），almonds（杏仁），minced meats，bean paste，orange peels and lard（猪油）. A golden yolk（蛋黄）from a salted duck egg was placed at the center of each cake，and the golden brown crust was decorated with symbols of the festival. Traditionally，thirteen moon cakes were piled in a pyramid to symbolize the thirteen moons of a “complete year，” that is，twelve moons plus one intercalary（闰月的）moon.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a traditional festivity for both the Han and minority nationalities. The custom of worshipping the moon can be traced back as far as the ancient Xia and Shang Dynasties（2000 B.C.-1066 B.C.）. In the Zhou Dynasty（1066 B.C.-221 B.C.），people hold ceremonies to greet winter and worship the moon whenever the Mid-Autumn Festival sets in. It becomes very prevalent in the Tang Dynasty（618-907 A.D.）that people enjoy and worship the full moon. In the Southern Song Dynasty（1127-1279 A.D.），however，people send round moon cakes to their relatives as gifts in expression of their best wishes of family reunion. When it becomes dark，they look up at the full silver moon or go sightseeing on lakes to celebrate the festival. Since the Ming（1368-1644 A.D. ）and Qing Dynasties（1644-1911A.D.），the custom of Mid-Autumn Festival celebration becomes unprecedented popular. Together with the celebration there appear some special customs in different parts of the country，such as burning incense（熏香），planting Mid-Autumn trees，lighting lanterns on towers and fire dragon dances. However，the custom of playing under the moon is not so popular as it used to be nowadays，but it is not less popular to enjoy the bright silver moon. Whenever the festival sets in，people will look up at the full silver moon，drinking wine to celebrate their happy life or thinking of their relatives and friends far from home，and extending all of their best wishes to them.
There is this story about the moon-cake. during the Yuan dynasty（A.D. 1280-1368）China was ruled by the Mongolian people. Leaders from the preceding Sung dynasty（A.D. 960-1280）were unhappy at submitting to the foreign rule，and set how to coordinate the rebellion without being discovered. The leaders of the rebellion，knowing that the Moon Festival was drawing near，ordered the making of special cakes. Backed into each moon cake was a message with the outline of the attack. On the night of the Moon Festival，the rebels successfully attached and overthrew the government. Today，moon cakes are eaten to commemorate this legend and was called the Moon Cake.
For generations，moon cakes have been made with sweet fillings of nuts，mashed red beans，lotus-seed paste or Chinese dates（枣子），wrapped in a pastry. Sometimes a cooked egg yolk can be found in the middle of the rich tasting dessert. People compare moon cakes to the plum pudding and fruit cakes which are served in the English holiday seasons.
Nowadays，there are hundreds varieties of moon cakes on sale a month before the arrival of Moon Festival
Mooncakes are to Mid-Autumn Festival what mince pies are to Christmas. The seasonal round cakes traditionally have a sweet filling of lotus seed paste or red bean paste and often have one or more salted duck eggs in the center to represent the moon. And the moon is what this celebration is all about. Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th month, it is the time when the moon is said to be at its brightest and fullest. This year the festival falls on October 1.
There are two legends which claim to explain the tradition of eating mooncakes. One Tang Dynasty myth holds that the Earth once had 10 suns circling it. One day all 10 suns appeared at once, scorching the planet with their heat. It was thanks to a skillful archer named Hou Yi that the Earth was saved. He shot down all but one of the suns. As his reward, the Heavenly Queen Mother gave Hou Yi the Elixir of Immortality, but she warned him that he must use it wisely. Hou Yi ignored her advice and, corrupted by fame and fortune, became a tyrannical leader. Chang-Er, his beautiful wife, could no longer stand by and watch him abuse his power so she stole his Elixir and fled to the moon to escape his angry wrath. And thus began the legend of the beautiful woman in the moon, the Moon Fairy.
The second legend has it that during the Yuan Dynasty, an underground group led by Zhu Yuan Zang was determined to rid the country of Mongolian dominance. The moon cake was created to carry a secret message. When the cake was opened and the message read, an uprising was unleashed which successfully routed the Mongolians. It happened at the time of the full moon, which, some say, explains why mooncakes are eaten at this time.
Mooncakes are usually stamped with Chinese characters indicating the name of the bakery and the type of filling used. Some bakeries will even stamp them with your family name so that you can give personalised ones to friends and family. They are usually presented in boxes of four which indicate the four phases of the moon. Traditional mooncakes are made with melted lard, but today vegetable oil is more often used in the interests of health.
Mooncakes are not for the diet-conscious as they are loaded with calories. The best way to wash down one of these sticky cakes is with a cup of Chinese tea, especially Jasmine or Chrysanthemum tea, which aids the digestion.