Tuesday was Mid-Autumn Festival, the traditional festival celebrated in China, Vietnam, Taiwan, and several other Asian countries. According to Wikipedia, "it's the second-most important holiday in Chinese culture after Chinese New Year, with a history dating back over 3,000 years. The festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar with a full moon at night, corresponding to mid-September to early October of the Gregorian calendar. On this day, the Chinese believe that the moon is at its brightest and fullest size, coinciding with harvest time in the middle of Autumn."
Crosstown Concourse, the building where I work, holds a Mid-Autumn Festival, in partnership with the Vietnamese Association of Memphis, every year. Crosstown is home to a large Vietnamese population, so it makes sense that we have the fest at Concourse! Sadly, I missed the fest this year since it was held on Saturday, when I was running my 50K.
But the actual Mid-Autumn holiday fell on Tuesday, so I went down to my neighborhood Vietnamese market, Viet Hoa, and bought some Vegan Mooncakes! Mooncakes are traditionally eaten to celebrate Mid-Autumn, but many brands are not vegan. Luckily, Viet Hoa had one brand that was. They had several flavors (mixed nuts, spiced salt, rose), but I opted for a traditional red bean paste cake. I enjoyed it with my green tea at work on Tuesday afternoon.
The outside was made of flaky pastry, and the inside was stuffed with a barely sweet and thick bean paste. I shared some cakes with my co-workers, and we all agreed that we enjoyed how it wasn't super-sweet.
I intended to grab some Vietnamese takeout for dinner from Phuong Long, but they were closed (maybe for the holiday?). Pho Binh was also closed (they're always closed on Tuesdays). And while we have many other Vietnamese restaurants in the neighborhood, I just decided to stay at home and make a healthy Tofu & Veggie Stir-fry with broccoli, bell pepper, and mushrooms over brown rice.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! And happy first day of fall (Mabon)! I'll be back tomorrow with a post on everything I ate today!