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Posted on April 22nd, 2014, by

In Chinese cities or Chinatowns in the globe, thousands of candlelit lamps line waterfronts and sidewalks during the double festival (Hoebel 1960, p. 150-168). In places like Hong Kong and some other areas with the Chinese populaces, it is easy to discover the families gathering in beautiful open mountain places to enjoy the promising full moon. Some old Chinese ladies caution the young kids never to point at the moon, for it is “impolite to the Lady of the Moon.”¯ Young expectants wandering alone, attempt hard to see the Man of the Moon, to request that he donate them the wish for real love.

In each home, a wealthy round “cake”¯ is cut and served. Round shapes represent the return – a round circle – in local philosophy. A basic standard of Taoism is ideal harmony accomplished with the help of the union of person’s spirit with the entire nature. Therefore, the conventional round shapes of cakes and older round paper lamps have come to reflect an occasion for family reunion to the Chinese people.

According to Zhengyuan Fu, the roots of the festival can lie in the previous harvest festivals that were celebrated with thanksgiving, specially after an abundant harvest (Fu 1994, p. 284-316). These crop festivals were renowned not merely by Chinese populace, but by lots of cultures, counting those in the West. The Mooncake Festival nevertheless, has a more considerably patriotic undertone to it. A mere symbol encapsulates the globe of profound meanings: immortality, tales of romance, hope and regeneration; a history lesson finishes with reminders to meticulously guard the integrity and independence of the populace.

Even nowadays, whilst consuming the cakes on festival, abroad Chinese miss their beloved ones and relatives in China even more, keenly hoping to see them soon (Fairbank & Goldman 2006, p. 389-450). Under China’s impact, southeast Asian nations like South Korea, Japan and also Thailand also make it a tradition to consume these cakes on the festival.

Economic Importance of Moon Cakes

Generally speaking, Chinese people are quite economical. They spend just what they require (Rokeach 1973, p. 35-149). This is especially helpful for a nation, which is attempting to create a financial system for itself, relying on the customer spending to maintain the wheels circling, rather than the US industry and exports. It is quite hard to make local populace to throw some cash away when they are so sensible, especially when you have the communication and advertising skills of an exhausted outcast (Hsiao, Jen & Lee 1990, p. 301-314).

Thus, the moon cake tax is the resolution for forcing population to pay cash into the economy, which would otherwise not have made it. The novel tax presupposes that every time an employer “presents” a worker with a box of cakes, this employee is charged a fee according to individual revenue allowance.

There are some ways to look at the issue. First, there is the slight chance that much more humans will end up paying more taxes due to this. How many people are actually going to be bumped up into a higher tax set due to this benefit? Also, probably, many organizations do not report the gift boxes with cakes anyway. So, at the outset, this should not be such a huge matter. But there are some more manners of analyzing this issue that help to clarify the public irritation. Also, it is culturally significant. Moon cakes are linked to the Mid-Autumn Festival, one of nation’s largest holidays. This is fundamentally taxing observance of a domestic holiday. From this point of view, it is obvious why it might rub individuals the wrong way. In addition, there is an economic symbolism here. A lot of humans are suffering due to the increasing costs, counting the costs of housing, food, health care and education (Redding & Hsiao 1990, p. 629-641). The Chinese economy is squeezing millions of people.

Ironically, whilst this is an extremely crucial holiday, and most humans present and obtain the cakes, they are treated similarly to the popular fruitcakes in the Western nations – many people complain concerning consuming them. People like to get the cakes from someone, as it is a thought that counts. But if the administration really wishes to tax that present from a company, it is not actually worth it.

Festivals are the single period of the year when people spend frivolously on entirely unwanted stuff, in workplaces, homes and even in the streets (Downs 1971, p. 74-85). Nobody can really consume the moon cakes, nobody really wants them, but in July, like in those Christmas sales, the nation is flooded with these cakes. So, in order to make a profit the nation decided to charge the populace every time they are given a box of moon cakes.

China’s Conventional Moon Cake as a Modern Status Symbol

Moon cakes, the conventional delicacy of the moon cake festival, used to be treated as symbols of family reunion and reflected the round harvest moon. But today as Chinese palates have become fussier and clients grown richer, the moon cakes have morphed into a pretentious demonstration of the prosperity (Herskovits 1955, p. 18-30). The wrapping of cakes has become more complicated and the nice boxes could either be dressed in imperial-chic silk or decorated with the wooden carvings or even silver-plated (Zhang, Wang and Mao 2010, p. 412-415). Competitive stores even have hired the well-known artists to make real bronze statuettes and assist in the sales of the cake boxes. Even bakeries in the provinces like Shanxi are rolling out costly cakes to cash in on the profitable gift-giving custom (Yang, Liu & Han 2010, p. 198-201). The state media asserted stores were selling the cakes containing genuine gold for US$1,202 – the price being a favorable symbol of fortune rather than a real expression of the value.

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