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Posted on April 22nd, 2014, by

Besides its meaning in Chinese history, moon cakes play an extremely crucial role in August Moon meetings and present giving. The round cakes represent family unity and excellence. Some cakes have a golden egg yoke in the center that reminds the bright moon. They traditionally come in a box of four and are carried in tin nice boxes with conventional Chinese patterns. A customary moon cake is created of a sugary bean paste with golden brown crumbling skin (Ronen & Shenkar 1985, p. 449). However, things change and the current moon cakes do not really remind the conventional variations. Besides, today the Chinese government wants to force the populace pay taxes for these traditional cakes. This paper is meant to investigate the development of these tasty cakes and to recognize their influence on dissimilar aspects of people’s livings.

Customary Chinese Food

Moon cake is the customary Chinese food. It has a very long history. From the Tang dynasty, almost a thousand years ago, there were pastries creating the moon cakes. Moon cakes are round, reflecting the reunion, and symbolize the people’s desire for family reunion (Gee & Huang 1989, p. 10-20).

Many people know that Chinese populace likes eating the moon cakes in the Mid-Autumn Day. There are approximately 80 million moon cakes consumers during these days (The Chinese Culture Connection 1987, p. 143-164). According to the study conducted in China and overseas, local citizens in Fuzhou pay attention to the label of moon cakes. Anderson, Chao Ya and Sunsmile are the most popular three brands on the list of customers’ favorite label of these cakes. They attracted all the clients with the taste, high quality and brand image. Due to the harsh competition in the moon cake industry, each organization spares no effort in marketing (Wever 2011, p. 211-222). The advertisements that are full of cultural connotations appeal to the clients very much; this, clients in China may remember a lot of brands of moon cakes. But the customers’ brand loyalty still has to be augmented; there is no leading organization in the market in China. Outdoor promotion and Web play an increasingly significant role in marketing of the cakes. In terms of wrapping, many clients prefer plain packaging that is consistent with rising acknowledgement of environment defense and health (Wu, Brown & Warner 2011, p. 1137-1138).

The Moon Festival’s Legends

Annually on the 15th day of eighth month of Chinese lunar calendar, when the moon is at the utmost brilliance for the year, the people rejoice the “zhong qiu jie” (Eberhard 1952, p. 34-85). Kids are told the tale of the fairy in the crystal palace that appears to dance on the moon’s shadow. A tale surrounding this lady dates back to a day when ten suns occurred in the sky simultaneously. Emperor told a well-known archer to shoot in the extra suns. When the assignment was completed, Goddess of the Western Heaven gave an archer a pill, which would make him undying. Nevertheless, his wife discovered the pill, swallowed it, and was expelled to the moon. According to the legend, her beauty is the brightest on the day of the festival (Pye 1972, p. 214-319).

According to the other story, on this day “Person in the Moon” was seen at the inn, carrying the tablet for writing. When asked, he said he was putting down the names of all the joyful couples that were destined to marry and exist cheerfully forever after. For that reason, just as June is the conventional month for wedding in the west, many weddings are held in the eighth month, with the 15th day being extremely popular (Liming 2011, p. 54-95).

Naturally, the most well-known legend surrounding the Moon festival is its probable role in the Chinese history (De Bary, Bloom & Adler 2000, p. 415-580). Flooded by the Mongols in the 13th century, the Chinese threw them off in 1368 AD. It is asserted moon cakes – which the Mongols hated – were the ideal vehicle for hiding the plans for revolt. Families were told not to consume the moon cakes till the day of the festival that is when the revolt occurred. In some other versions plans were passed along in moon cakes over some years of festivals, but the fundamental concept is identical (Tylor 1871, p. 335-402).

Nowadays, the cakes no longer include the notes concerning revolt. The food is created of a sugary cake base named yueh ping, formed into discs reflecting the moon with seeds of sesame, salted duck eggs and lotus seed. When the discs are made, a symbol of the Fairy of the Moon is cast or printed on each cake. This logo is as a rule, on each moon cake, each moon cake box and each festive poster; at times together with the emerald hare (Chai, Chen & Wang 2011, p. 315-318).

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