What Are Traditional Foods for Mid-Autumn Festival?

Food is indispensable in Chinese festivals and each festival has the typical food of its own. What are traditional foods for Mid-Autumn Festival? What do Chinese people eat for Mid-Autumn Festival? Though the Mid-Autumn Festival foods vary with places, they express people's same wishes for the festival.  Following are top ten delicacies for the festival.


Mooncake, a traditional food of Mid-Autumn Festival, is a must-eat that can represent the festival. Every year on the Mid-Autumn Festival, every household would prepare many mooncakes for friends and family. The flavors of mooncakes are enough to cater to everyone. In general, a mooncake is round in shape for a family to share, which symbolizes family reunion and harmony.

Osmanthus Cake

Sweet osmanthus blooms around the Mid-Autumn Festival. Many people observe the custom of eating osmanthus cake, a popular delicacy with the unique osmanthus flavor, on the Mid-Autumn Day. 

River Snails

Eating river snails at Mid-Autumn Festival is a tradition in many places in Guangdong. During this period, river snails are fleshy, sensual, rich in nutrients and beneficial to human health.

Hairy Crab

Eating hairy crabs at Mid-Autumn Festival prevails in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. Mid-autumn marks the best time for hairy crabs and the aroma of the paddy fields. The high price at this time cannot stop people's love for hairy crabs. Hairy crabs are usually served with ginger vinegar and one crab is provided for every eater to split, which is the best way to kill time. However, hairy crab is a type of cool food and needs to be served with yellow wine. Also, a cup of ginger tea is suggested for health reason. 

Osmanthus Wine

Sweet osmanthus is a plant that is both ornamental and edible. China has a long history of making osmanthus wine -- a very popular drink. On the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, people admire the moon, smell the aroma of osmanthus and sip the osmanthus wine to celebrate and enjoy the family reunion, which has become a pleasure of the festival.

Osmanthus Duck

In addition to mooncakes, Osmanthus Duck is another must-eat for Nanjing people at Mid-Autumn Festival. This famous local dish derives its name from the agreeably fatty duck when sweet-scented osmanthus is in full blossom. Taro poured with osmanthus honey is a must after drinking -- a really wonderful experience!


In Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, the pronunciation of taro is similar to "Yun Lai" (literally good luck). Hence, eating taro at Mid-Autumn Festival means not only the enjoyment of good food but also the good luck. Taro is a coarse grain good for human health.

Fried Lotus Root

Eating lotus root, especially Fried Lotus Root, at Mid-Autumn Festival also symbolizes family reunion. People in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces often slice lotus roots and make sure every two slices are connected at the bottom, so as to put the stuffing made from meat, clam and other ingredients; then, the sandwiched lotus root slices are fried to golden brown. Fried Lotus Root looks similar to moon cake.


Grapefruit, another traditional food for Mid-Autumn Festival, is often used as a gift. In ancient China, grapefruit also symbolized reunion. Many places still have the custom of eating grapefruits and admiring the full moon on this day.

Water Chestnut

It is said that eating water chestnuts (water caltrop) on Mid-Autumn Festival can make children smarter. The most common way is to boil water chestnuts with fresh or salt water before peeling directly to eat. Also, the peeled water chestnuts can be cooked into salty porridge with rice. After eating the sweet mooncakes, a bowl of water chestnut porridge can cut through the greasiness.

Chinese Calendar

31廿二/22 1廿三/23 2廿四/24 3廿五/25 4廿六/26 5廿七/27 6廿八/28
7廿九/29 8三十/30 三月 (Mar) 9初壹/1 10初二/2 11初三/3 12初四/4 13初五/5
14初六/6 15初七/7 16初八/8 17初九/9 18初十/10 19十壹/11 20十二/12
21十三/13 22十四/14 23十五/15 24十六/16 25十七/17 26十八/18 27十九/19
28二十/20 29廿壹/21 30廿二/22 1廿三/23 2廿四/24 3廿五/25 4廿六/26