Mooncake Myths Unmasked
by Solomon West
Well, the sixth of October was Mid-Autumn Day, and all across China and other places, people mooched around, gazed upwards at the pearlescent orb of Luna and nibbled on moon cakes. There's a lot of folklore out there to do with moon cakes and most of it is, frankly, flim-flam. Let's take a gander at the heap and sort the mendacity from the misunderstandings.
MYTH: Mooncakes were designed to resemble the moon.
FACT: Both the full moon and most cakes are circular - it was only later that this coincidence was noticed and exploited.
MYTH: Mooncakes are one of the most popular snackthings in China, with literally millions enjoying them on an annual basis.
FACT: The number of people that buy mooncakes every year far outstrips the number of people that actually enjoy them.
MYTH: Emperor Hongwu used mooncakes to deliver secret messages to signal the beginning of his revolt against the Yuan dynasty.
FACT: Admiring plans like this are precisely why China is conquered on a regular basis.
MYTH: The circular shape of mooncakes also symbolises unity and togetherness.
FACT: That's just stupid.
MYTH: The mooncakes with only a single egg yolk are thought to represent the loneliness of the Chinese goddess Chang E who flew to the moon to escape the clutches of her husband.
FACT: Single-yolk mooncakes actually represent a laudable approach towards conserving egg supplies.