China celebrates their annual “Chung Chiu” Moon Festival, or the fall harvest, on the 15th day of the eighth lunar cycle of the year. On this day, Chinese families come together for a three-day feast that features a sweet delicacy called the mooncake.
Mooncakes are round pastries that typically contain duck egg yolks, lotus seed paste, and sesame seeds. The yolk represents the full moon, and the cakes usually have the baker’s logo or insignia embossed on the top.
Family and friends share mooncakes with one another, signifying unity and peace for the coming season.
Families watch the full moon and sing and recite poetry about it. Chung Chiu is a particularly special holiday for couples, who can celebrate some romance under the full moonlight. Even couples that are long distance make an effort to watch the moon at the same hour.
A similar harvest festival is celebrated on the same day in Vietnam, known as Têt-Trung-Thu or Trung Thu on which they also give thanks and honor their families.