The Moon Festival, also called Mid-Autumn Festival is an Asian tradition that dates back to over 1300 years ago. Legend has it that it all started when China gain victory over Mongolia in 1368. On the occasion, Chinese hid papers in cakes naming the day of the attack and secretly gave them over to their fellow countrymen. Mongols didn’t eat sweet cake and the trick is said to have worked wonders. Still today, it stays the most important festival in Asia after the New Year and is believed to occur to celebrate the harvest season.
A family gathering
Yet, it remains rather unknown in France. In mid-Autumn, on the 8th month of the lunar calendar, the 15th day is the day the moon is the brightest.
It’s on this occasion that Chinese people join their families to get out and admire this famous full moon. All while chatting and enjoy the famous mooncake. These traditionally round and magnificently made cakes, are filled with sweet filling such as fruit, cantaloupe seeds, lotus, walnuts or adzuki.
Where to get yours in Paris
The Moon Festival is held on September 13 and mooncakes are now available in Asian stores and specialized patisseries. To enjoy them, head to the enormous épicerie Tang Frères or to pretty much any Chinese patisseries in the 13th arrondissement.
Or if you wanna splurge, head to the Galeries Lafayette where pastry chef Pierre Hermé, in order to celebrate the next solstice, unveils a new interpretation of his famous mooncakes. With new original flavors — pure dark chocolate from Mexico, soft caramel, melting praline and crunches of sesame nougatine — the chef truly revisits the mooncakes with a very tasty, autumnal touch.