Friday, September 21, 2007

Mid-Autumn Festival

As autumn approaches and the nights get longer, the Asian community holds an annual moon festival (a.k.a. Mid-Autumn Festival) with moon cakes, cultural fairs, feasts, martial arts and lion dance performances, and other activities. The Mid-Autumn Festival takes place on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar. Learn more about this ancient festival from the Ethnic NewsWatch database:

1. Go to the SFPL Home Page and select “Articles & Databases.” You will need a San Francisco Public Library card to get into the databases from outside the Library.

2. Select the Ethnic NewsWatch database.

3. Enter the keywords “moon festival” and “legend” into the search boxes, being sure to use “AND” to link those terms together so they appear within the same document.

4. Select the citation:

August Moon Festival: The story of a goddess and her husband: She took Pill of Immortality and ascended to the moon. Anonymous. The Patriot Ledger. Quincy, Mass.: Aug 15, 2007. p. 3

Here is an excerpt:

"The August Moon Festival is one of two large festivals celebrated by many Asians each year. The festival celebrates the advent of the harvest season and commemorates the ascension of the goddess Chang-O to the Moon Palace.”

The Ethnic NewsWatch database contains articles (including some in Spanish) from newspapers, magazines, journals, and newsletters from the ethnic, minority, and native press, presenting alternate viewpoints from those covered by the mainstream press.


Anonymous said...

Nice article on the legends of Chang-O and her husband Hou Yi. By the way, according the solar-based Gregorian calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on September 25 this year.

What a vibrant picture of those scrumptious mooncakes!

Traditionally, mooncakes are made with lard, sugar, and salted egg yolks. The demand for these mooncakes has declined in recent years, prompting bakeries to modify their recipes to appeal to a more health-conscious audience. Nowadays, one can get mooncakes of the low sugar, less oil variety. Some mooncakes even contain high fiber or fat-free ice cream.

SFPL Magazines and Newspapers Center Staff said...

Thank you for your comment. What's equally interesting is that some bakeries in Beijing have also catered to the younger generation, replacing traditional mooncake ingredients with mocha coffee, cheese, tiramisu, and wine.

For more information on this, run a search through the InfoTrac OneFile database--the first one on the Articles & Databases list, enter the keywords [healthy mooncakes], and find the article entitled "Feature: Young Chinese opt for healthy mooncakes."

Here is an excerpt:

"Health-conscious young Chinese are spurning oil and sugar-laden commercially-made mooncakes and keeping alive the art of baking the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival delicacies at home."