This festival celebrates the victory of the Chinese in bringing about the demise of the Mongol overlords during the Yuan dynasty.In falls on the 15th day of the eight lunar month, about two weeks before or after 23 September-when the moon ia atits brightest.When planning the revolution, mooncakes were used as a means of communication. In them were messages from their general, telling them of his plans.
Lanterns were used to signal the start of the revolution. At the agreed date, the Hans launched the revolution which took the Monggols by surprise. Till today, mooncakes and lanterns symbolise liberation.
Mooncakes are circular-shaped pastry with rice fillings of lotus seed paste, sweet red beanpuree and egg yolks. Another storey related to the festival comes from the Hsia dynasty. It tells of a tyrannical King who discovered an elixir for immortality.
The King’s kind-hearted and beautiful wife, stole this elixir to prevent further sufferings to the people. When the King discovered that his wife was responsible for the theft, she swallowed the elixir and fled to the moon. Cakes were made in recognition of her kindness and sacrifice.
Night celebrations are marked by the Chinese community in colourful parades as children carry lanterns of every shape and size. Friends and families exchange mooncakes and other delicacies.