Mid-Autumn Festival, or “Mooncake Festival”, is a Chinese celebration of the harvest and of the Autumn season at the time of the full moon. This celebration is observed in Indonesia mostly by people with Chinese ancestry. It is not an official public holiday, but it is still an important day for many.
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The Mid-Autumn Festival originates from the Shang Dynasty of China in the 1500s and was at first focused on worship of the Chinese moon goddess in the expectation of a bountiful harvest. Today, it is more about fun and food.
Observing the full moon, decorating Chinese lanterns, and enjoying family gatherings are a part of the traditional celebrations of the Mid-Autumn Festival, but eating mooncakes take central place.
In Indonesia, you usually find the Cantonese type of mooncake that has chewy crust and contains sweet or sometimes savoury fillings. They also may have four egg yolks in side to symbolise the moon’s four phases. Sometimes these pastries are shaped like fish or piglets instead of the moon, which is the original shape and the reason they were dubbed “mooncakes”.