月饼 / yuè bǐng Moon cake

25 Sep

In China, the tradition (传统 chuántǒng) of eating moon cakes in the Mid-autumn Festival (中秋节 zhōngqiū jié) can be dated back (追溯 zhuīsù) to the Tang Dynasty (唐朝 Tángcháo) in ancient China. The round moonshape cake means reunion (团圆 tuányuán) and happiness (幸福 xìngfú).
It was one Mid-autumn Festival in Tang Dynasty when General (将军 jiāngjūn) Li and his army (军队 jūnduì) defeated (打败了 dǎbàile) the Hun (匈奴 xiōngnú) army. The emperor (皇帝 huángdì) was in such a good mood (心情 xīnqíng) that he shared (分享 fēnxiǎng) his round cake with his ministers (大臣们 dàchénmen). Therefore, the moon cakes became the victory (胜利 shènglì) food for General Li and his army on that day. The tradition was passed on through generations. Even today (今天 jīntiān), Chinese people around the world will share moon cakes in celebrating the reunion of Mid-autumn Festival.
The traditional moon cakes have a round crust (表皮 biǎopí) filled with different fillings (馅 xiàn) such as sweet bean paste (红豆沙 hóngdòushā) and lotus seed paste (莲蓉 liánróng). Today, many derivatives of the moon cakes have been invented (发明 fāmíng) based on the modern (现代的 xiàndàide) taste (口味 kǒuwèi). Ice cream (冰淇凌 bīngqīlíng) moon cake is the traditional crust filled with ice cream. Fruit (水果 shuǐguǒ) moon cakes have fresh fruits as stuffing. There are even sea food moon cakes and whole wheat moon cakes.
Now, it’s time for you to find out your favorite moon cake! Please talk with your Chinese teacher at SpeakMandarin.com about your mid-autumn Festival.

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