Customs on the Silk Road-part three
When the full moon comes out, housewives burn incense and light candles to offer sacrifices to the goddess in the moon, Chang'e. Among local people however, the men traditionally do not pay homage to the moon.
After the ceremony, the eldest member of the family will cut the cake into pieces and divide them among family members. However, according to the local Liangzhou custom, people don't eat the cake until the next evening. This custom has its roots in the history of Liangzhou. In ancient times, Liangzhou was the place where disgraced officials and criminals were exiled. Those who were far away from their homes missed their family very much. At the Mid-Autumn Festival, looking at the bright moon, more than ever they thought of their families far away. So they didn't eat all the mooncakes at once for they were a symbol of the family reunion.
Local Fast Food Steamed Bread in Watermelon Juice
Minqin County is surrounded by desert on three sides. Two thirds of the county is covered by sand. At oases in the desert large sweet watermelons and Lanzhou honey melons grow thanks to the long hours of sunshine and the great disparity in temperature between day and night.
To eat a melon it is necessary only to press the melon with the thumb, and the melon will split in the middle.
Then the melon is stirred with chopsticks into juice, and griddle cakes or steamed bread are broken into pieces with the hands and soaked in the melon juice. Soon afterwards, the bread will become soft and will be ready to eat. Sweet, cool and refreshing, steamed bread in watermelon juice is a common food in liangzhou.