About Mid-Autumn Festival
The festival is intricately linked to the legends of Chang E, the mythical Moon Goddess of Immortality. According to “Li-Ji”, an ancient Chinese book recording customs and ceremonies, the Chinese Emperor should offer sacrifices to the sun in spring and the moon in autumn. The 15th day of the 8th lunar month is the day called “Mid-Autumn”. The night on the 15th of the 8th lunar month is also called “Night of the Moon”. Under the Song Dynasty (420), the day was officially declared for Mid-Autumn Festival.
Most mooncakes consist of a thin, tender skin enveloping a sweet, dense filling, and may contain one or more whole salted egg yolks in its center to symbolise the full moon. Very rarely, mooncakes are also served steamed or fried.
Traditional mooncakes have an imprint on top consisting of the Chinese characters for “longevity” or “harmony”, as well as the name of the bakery and the filling inside. Imprints of the moon, the Chang’e woman on the moon, flowers, vines, or a rabbit (symbol of the moon) may surround the characters for additional decoration.
Mooncakes are considered a delicacy; production is labor-intensive and few people make them at home. Hence, most prefer to buy them from commercial outlets, which may range from smaller individual bakery shops to high-end restaurants. The price of mooncakes usually ranges from US$10 to US$50 (around £5 to £35) for a box of four, although cheaper and more expensive mooncakes can also be found.
Regional variations in China
Beijing-style mooncake: The fillings are the mountain hawthorn and wisteria blossom flavors.
Cantonese-style: The ingredients used for the fillings are various: lotus seed paste, melon seed paste, nuts, ham, chicken, duck, roast pork, mushrooms, egg yolks, etc.
Suzhou-style mooncake: This style began more than a thousand years ago, and is known for its layers of flaky dough and generous allotment of sugar and lard. It is also smaller than most other regional varieties. It feature both sweet and savory types, usually filled with pork mince. Filling made from roasted black sesame, are common in flaky Suzhou-style mooncakes.
Yunnan-style mooncake: Its distinctive feature is the combination of various flours for the dough, and includes rice flour, wheat flour, buckwheat flour, and more. Most of the variations within this style are sweet.
Anhui-style mooncake: This style are smaller then others, has a soft covering.
(The content from Wikipedia and Baidu,Pictures are from Baidu.)