Origin and meaning of Vietnam mooncake

Recently updated on November 7th, 2019 at 03:01 pm

The Mid-Autumn Festival is the traditional holiday and the third largest of the year in Vietnam. On this day, people will organize an offering of ancestral altars, gather with the family to chat, drink tea and eat Vietnam mooncake or participate in entertainment activities.

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Speaking of the symbol of the August full moon night, people immediately think of the familiar mooncake. But not everyone understands the origin and meaning of mooncakes. Stay tuned for the following article about this traditional dish.


What is Vietnam mooncake?

Mooncake is the name used in Vietnam for the type of cake commonly used during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Cakes in Vietnam often form a circle, about 10cm in diameter or square edge length of about 7-8 cm, 4-5 cm gap width. Mooncakes also have many other designs such as carp, pig … Compared to Western cakes, Vietnam mooncake is much sweeter.

The origin of mooncake

Mooncake originated from China and spread widely around the world, including Vietnam.

The meaning of mooncake

Although not originating from Vietnam, but for a long time, mooncakes have become a traditional dish during the Mid-Autumn Festival. With a round full moon-like design, showing the union, all members of the family, gather together after many days of separation.

The most popular mooncakes in Vietnam

Sticky rice mooncakes –“Banh Deo”

Sticky rice mooncakes –“Banh Deo”

Sticky rice mooncakes are made from a mixture of glutinous rice flour along with sugar water and grapefruit perfume. Sticky rice mooncakes are molded in wooden molds or plastic molds in a round shape, filled with lotus seeds, green beans or a variety of pre-cooked food ingredients. The traditional round cake shaped like a full moon symbolizes the meaning of “family reunion”.

Baked mooncake

baked moon cake (Vietnam moon cake)

The baked mooncake is made from a mixture of wheat flour mixed with chicken eggs and a little wine, with pure filling made of green beans, taro, finely chopped lotus seeds or two salted duck egg yolks. In addition, baked mooncakes also have the smell of vanilla or durian or mixed with scrub meat, pumpkin jam, melon seeds, roast meat, fat … then put in the oven. The cake has many different flavors, reminiscent of the taste of life, no matter how much you taste, when you return home, it is always sweet, warm, full of affection.

Pig-shaped mooncake

Pig-shaped moon cake (Vietnam moon cake)

Besides round or square mooncakes, nowadays people make funny and lovely animal-shaped cakes including pig. The image of the piglets next to the mother pig symbolizes a warm family, wishing for a full and prosperous life. People often give pig-shaped mooncakes to family, friends or acquaintances as a wish for a warm family, a prosperous and happy life.

Carp-shaped mooncakes

Carp-shaped mooncakes (Vietnam moon cake)

The carp is a symbol of solidarity and strength. The image of carp transforming into a dragon shows steadfastness and constant effort. For adults, carp is a symbol of advancement in career recognition. As for children, carp is a symbol of growth, reaching new levels of knowledge, study, and examinations.

Besides using carp to make lanterns, people also make carp-shaped mooncakes, filled with delicious and attractive fillings. The meaning of carp mooncakes when giving to colleagues and friends is to wish for success and advancement in work.

With meaningful mooncakes, you can use them as warm gifts on the Mid-Autumn Festival.

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