This year's mid-Autumn Festival falls on October 3. And while preparations for the holiday might be just slightly overshadowed by the PRC's 60th birthday falling just two days before, mooncakes are fighting back for their share of the spotlight.
Expensive mooncake regifting (akin to fruit-cake regifting during Christmas time in the West) is always a part of mid-Autumn celebrations, and mooncakes have been known to come in a wide variety of flavors and colors with standard-issue cakes resembling a hockey puck in size, shape, and weight.
But this year Chongqing unveiled a whopper: The mammoth megalopolis's pride and joy measures 1 meter in diameter and weighs in at 100 jin—that's around 100 pounds or just under 50 kilograms, if we did our math correctly (which we've been known not to do)—of heart-attack-inducing mooncake glory.
The mooncake is part of commercial promotions for the mooncake (as if it needed pushing) and made its debut at the "Third China Mooncake Culture Festival" in Chongqing earlier this month.
Here's a 600-pound mooncake platter called "the Mooncake King" that features big mooncakes surrounded by little red underling mooncakes, all with a patriotic theme. It was also featured at the Chongqing festival.
Of course, this cake is no match for last year's Sichuan-made 1,600-pounder, or the 3-ton mooncake that was created in Nanning, Guangxi, in 2001, and certainly not Shenyang's whopping 10 mooncakes that weighed in at 13 tons in 2007.
And we have to add that when we were newly arrived in China, we recall eating, in one sitting, an entire hockey-puck-sized egg mooncake upon receiving it from our employer. Immediately after, we were sick to our stomachs. A co-worker later informed us you're only supposed to eat a quarter of it at a time; the whole thing might contain a day's worth of calories. Needless to say we won't be trying to stuff the 100-pounder into our mouths at once.
In the meantime, Chengdu celebrated the 9th Sichuan Mooncake Festival last week at the Shawan Exhibition Center. Festivities included a DIY mooncake competition involving hundreds of pounds of ham, date paste, fruits, nuts, and flour.
Image: China News