When I was young and celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival with my parents, my Dad would tell me about the folk tale behind the festival, i.e. the Ming Revolution. Every year, when eating the mooncake, my Dad would ask me if I remember what the festival represents (apart from the Chang'e, mythical moon goddess of immortality).
This year, I've decided to post the folk tale on my blog (credits Wikipedia), with a slight sentence change in purple:
"According to a widespread folk tale (not necessarily supported by historical records), the Mid-Autumn Festival commemorates an uprising in China against the Mongol rulers of the Yuan Dynasty (1280–1368) in the 14th century. As group gatherings were banned, it was impossible to make plans for a rebellion. Noting that the Mongols did not eat mooncakes, Liu Bowen (劉伯溫) of Zhejiang_Province,advisor to the Chinese rebel leader Zhu Yuanzhang, came up with the idea of timing the rebellion to coincide with the Mid-Autumn Festival. He sought permission to distribute thousands of moon cakes to the Chinese residents in the city to bless the longevity of the Mongol emperor. Inside each cake, however, was inserted a piece of paper with the message to revolt on the 15th day of the 8th month. On the night of the Moon Festival, the rebels successfully attacked and overthrew the government. What followed was the establishment of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), under Zhu. Henceforth, the Mid-Autumn Festival was celebrated with moon cakes on a national level."
This year the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 3rd October 2009. In August, all shops in Malaysia have started selling the mooncakes.
My favorite is the Restaurant Overseas brand, the traditional Scent Temptation with lotus paste and egg yolk.
It's fragrant, and not too sweet. The average price per piece is about RM12. Before and during the festival, you can get them at their small booth at Jusco.
I've seen other mooncake brands with very nice box packaging. I don't know how the mooncake tastes though, but it's so tempting to buy it just for the boxes ^_^