The origins of the Chinese Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, can be traced to the Shanghai Dynasty and has been a tradition for well over 3,000 years. On the 15th day of the eighth month of the year, people gathered and served up a variety of offerings to show the moon their appreciation of nature and plentiful harvests.
The Moon Festival remains, to this date, one of the most important celebrations of the year where people make merry and celebrate, dance, and eat delicious foods. Although mooncakes are the most traditional food items on a plate during the Moon Festival, there are others dishes, too, which are eaten on this day. Pumpkin is one of those foods.
Pumpkin is a traditional Chinese festival food. The tradition started with the people living south of the Yangtze River, who were unable to afford the elaborately prepared mooncakes. The Chinese name for pumpkin is “south melon”. According to a Chinese legend, a poor girl named Huang Hua, living in the area, came across a pumpkin in the field and brought it home to her seriously ill parents. Shortly after eating the pumpkin, the girl’s parents miraculously recovered. Although this story is slightly fictitious, it remains a favourite anecdote in China.
The tradition has been handed down for generations and eating pumpkin on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival is believed to bring people good health.
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