Moon cake, a traditional dish that has become a symbol during the Mid-Autumn Festival, bears a bold label of spiritual cohesion in the hearts of Vietnamese people. But have you ever wondered about the origin of Moon Cakes? Let’s find out with Kamereo in this article!
1. The origin of Moon Cakes
Mooncakes originated in China and then spread widely to Vietnam. According to a legend from China, at the end of the Yuan Dynasty, during a peasant uprising led by Zhou Yuanzhang and Liu Ba Wen, to transmit information and orders secretly, the people made a round cake, stuffed with a piece of paper with the time for the uprising to start at the brightest moon, ie the full moon of August. To record the memory of this battle, the ancient Chinese people chose the full moon day of August to make cakes.
In Vietnam, Trung cakes are associated with the legend of Hang Nga and Uncle Cuoi, with the making of special cakes to participate in the Jade Emperor’s contest and the wish to be able to play together in the world with children. The full moon day of August should be called the Mid-Autumn Festival. Since then, the beauty of the cake has been passed down through generations and has become an indispensable part of Vietnamese culture and beliefs.
Not only a dish, moon cake has many special meanings, symbolizing unity and family love. Doan Vien cake also symbolizes prosperity and luck. The round and square shape of the cake means completeness and harmony.
During the Mid-Autumn Festival, the family gathers around the Mid-Autumn Festival tray, sharing traditional cakes. Through making and enjoying the union cake together, each family member feels deeply cared for, reunited and emotionally connected. It is believed that enjoying the cake will bring good luck and fortune to the family. Therefore, the Mid-Autumn Festival often has cakes arranged on the tray as a symbol of prosperity and success.
2. Characteristics of traditional and modern Moon Cakes
Over hundreds of years of existence and development, moon cakes have been made with many new shapes and flavours. But whether it is a traditional or modern cake, it still retains its meaning during the Tet holiday.
2.1. Traditional Moon Cake
Traditional cakes bring with them the beauty and quintessence of traditional culture. The crust is made from wheat flour, has a mild salty taste and is soft. Mooncakes are usually filled with green beans, taro jam, lotus seeds or salted eggs, with a traditional and familiar flavour. One can also combine them all to form delicious mooncakes filled with delicious fillings.
The round shape of the cake symbolizes wholeness and harmony. Outside, the crust is often decorated with words with auspicious meanings or beautiful drawings. These cakes are not only a meaningful gift but also a family bond and create a warm atmosphere in the mid-autumn festival.
2.2. Modern Moon Cake
Modern mooncakes are a fusion of tradition and creativity, offering new flavours and unique forms. In addition to traditional cakes, Mid-Autumn Festival also popularizes unique versions such as flowing egg moon cake with greasy melted salted egg filling, vegetarian moon cake with filling from plant ingredients for dieters, or soft and cool jelly moon cake. Modern Union cake brings creativity and fun to the people to enjoy, showing the diversity and progress in the art of baking.
3. Types of Mooncakes in Vietnam
In Vietnam, Mid-Autumn Festival cakes are divided into two main types: sticky rice cakes and baked cakes. In a traditional mooncake box, there are usually both.
Flexible moon cake is a type of cake made from glutinous rice flour, with a strong sweet taste. The flexible cake is usually round in shape, with a white shell and a filling inside such as green beans, almonds, sausages or jam.
The baked cake is made from flour, with a sweet and fatty taste and a unique shape. Baked cakes often have a filling inside such as salted eggs, green beans, sausages or almonds. The crust is usually yellow, crispy and sweet when baked.
Combining both marshmallows and pies in one box provides variety and satisfaction for all tastes. Enjoyers can enjoy the sweet and chewy taste of sticky rice cakes along with the greasy and crispy taste of baked goods. Both of these cakes are popular and enrich the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival.
Hopefully, through this article, readers will have more interesting information about moon cakes for this festive season.