By Sunny Liu
If Chinese New Year is the equivalent of Christmas, then the Mooncake Festival is like the Asian Easter.
For many Melburnians, eating mooncakes was a first.
Shaped like a full moon, mooncakes are traditional Chinese pastries that come in a variety of fillings, such as red bean, sesame and sometimes dried pork.
Mooncakes were not the only star at the Mooncake Festival that took place at Queen Victoria Market on September 11. Lion dance, kung-fu performance, lantern painting and Asian street-food stalls also attracted foodies and art-lovers alike.
Celebrated in many Asian countries, the festival brings families together and they cherish the time they have together.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the festival celebration in Melbourne.
Festival organiser Josephine Foo said the turnout was at least three times more than previous years.
“This is a community-based and family-based activity. Melbourne is so multicultural and everyone comes to Queen Victoria Market to get a feel of the culture,” she said.
With the ever-increasing Chinese-immigrant population in Melbourne, it is no surprise that Chinese cultural festivals are appreciated as much as western ones.
Some local Australians were on the lion dancer team and some even gave their Mandarin a go on stage.
Ms Foo said the Mooncake Festival was about sharing the Chinese culture among the wider Melbourne community.
“It’s part of our Chinese culture, our heritage. The activities are to bring everybody together to understand what Mooncake Festival is all about,” she said.
“The more we share with other people, the more we understand and the more we stand united.”