There are many customs followed in different parts of China, such as burning incense, planting mid-autumn trees, lighting lanterns on towers, and holding fire-dragon dances, etc. However, the moon cake, with its many variations, has been an important symbol of the festival.
A typical moon cake is round or rectangular, measuring about 4 inches in diameter, and 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick. It has a flaky crust and is filled with lotus seed paste with a whole egg yolk in the center to balance out the sweet filling with a salty taste.
When the cake is cut in half to share among family or friends, the yolk looks like a round moon.
Moon cakes are usually baked and many regional variants have evolved over time based on the availability of ingredients and regional taste preferences.
The most popular types are the ones filled with lotus seed paste, red bean paste, or date paste.
In recent years, new ingredients like coffee, chocolate, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and meat have been added to give a modern twist to the traditional recipes.
Usually, there is an imprint on top of each moon cake. A red ring, the characters for longevity or harmony, a moon, Chang E, or a rabbit are the most common ones