Every year, when Mid-Autumn season comes around, we find ourselves in the familiar rhythm of gifting and gathering. The children pick up the lanterns while we bring out the mooncakes and brew ourselves a steaming, comforting pot of tea. It has long been known that Mid-Autumn Festival is a time-honoured tradition, but why exactly do we celebrate the occasion, and why with mooncakes? From heart-wrenching love stories to riveting wartime tales, let us at Oddle Eats tell you about the significance behind this yearly tradition we hold dear.
Not Romeo and Juliet, but still star-crossed lovers
This is probably the mid-autumn fable you’re familiar with — yes, it’s the one with Chang’er and Hou Yi that you probably read about when you were a wee little one in primary school. According to Chinese folklore, archer Hou Yi shot down 9 out of 10 suns that revolved around the earth, saving precious crops that were being destroyed by the extreme heat. For his gallant efforts, he was rewarded with an immortality elixir that would grant him godly status in heaven. Despite this great reward, Hou Yi chose to stay on Earth as he wanted to be with his wife, Chang’er.
Unfortunately, things went awry when Hou Yi’s disciple tried to steal the elixir, and to prevent the elixir from falling into the wrong hands, Chang’er swallowed the elixir in the heat of the moment, and ascended to the moon. Unable to come back to earth, she remained on the moon as a heavenly deity, torn apart from Hou Yi. From then on, Hou Yi (the O.G Jay Gatsby) ignited the yearly tradition of Mid-Autumn Festival, where mooncakes are displayed and lanterns are lit in Chang’er’s honour.
House of Cards, Ming Dynasty edition
This next mooncake fable has the makings of a riveting Netflix series, with Yuan Dynasty rebel leader Zhu Yuan Zhang using mooncakes as a tool for political uprising against the Mongol empire. Under the facade of a celebration, Zhu distributed thousands of mooncakes to the people of Mongol, each containing a secret note that said “On the 15th day of the 8th month, kill the Mongols“. Zhu’s attempt proved successful, and the people rallied to overthrow the Mongol empire on that very day, marking the start of the Ming Dynasty.
Even as the mid-autumn traditions have slowly evolved and changed over centuries, these folktales continue to be passed on from one generation to another. Whether or not we believe in these fables, we continue to treasure the spirit of gathering and reunion felt during Mid-Autumn Festival. Just like the full moon, the round mooncake symbolises unity and prosperity, which is why the tradition of gifting and eating mooncakes is still ubiquitous and popular in modern times. Even with evolving traditions and refreshing new flavours (think bandung or orh nee) changing up the mooncake game, one thing remains constant: the Mid-Autumn festival is a time for families to gather together, enjoy mooncakes, and celebrate love and kinship.
Your favourite mooncakes, delivered island-wide
If you’re looking for luxurious and delicious mooncakes to ring in the sweet festivities, check out Oddle Eats to find a wide selection of mooncakes from popular restaurants, hotels and patisseries including Pan Pacific Singapore, Summer Pavilion, Peony Jade, Janice Wong and more. From delicate snowskin and the traditional baked varieties, to durian and truffle champagne mooncakes, we’ve got you covered.
Paradise Group – Assorted Traditional Baked Mooncakes (S$62) Have it delivered:S$5 island-wide. Free delivery with min. S$100 spend. ORDER NOW | Facebook | Instagram
Pan Pacific Singapore – Four Treasures Snowskin Mooncakes (S$68.80) Early Bird Special: 25% early bird savings with UOB, OCBC, Citibank, HSBC and Maybank Cards from now till 31 August 2020. Have it delivered: Delivery fees apply. Free delivery with min. S$100 spend. ORDER NOW | Facebook | Instagram
Peony Jade – TARO de Lave Cha Cha & TARO de Lave (S$67) Have it delivered: S$25 island-wide. Free delivery with min. S$280 spend. ORDER NOW | Facebook | Instagram
Goodwood Park Hotel – Japanese Sweet Potato with Pumpkin-Coconut Centre (From S$41) Early Bird Special: 15% off for CITI, DBS/POSB, OCBC, UOB Credit & Debit Cardmembers from now until 1 Oct 2020; 20% off for Hotel Gourmet Cardmembers; Early Bird offer of 25% off with a min. purchase of 2 boxes from 25 to 31 August 2020. Have it delivered:S$20 island-wide. Free delivery with min. $500 spend. ORDER NOW | Facebook | Instagram
Mooncake and tea, the perfect match
The art of tea pairing is the perfect way to balance the sweetness of the mooncakes, and to complete the occasion, Oddle Eats is giving away a limited-edition ceramic tea set (worth $68) – teacups and a specially curated selection of premium rose and golden chrysanthemum teas. Simply make a minimum purchase of $120 on mooncake orders via Oddle Eats and use the promo code <OddleGift> to redeem.