Moon cakes are pastries traditionally eaten (and given as gifts) during the Mid-Autumn Festival, which dates back to the Song Dynasty (420 a.d.) and is a festival for lunar worship and moon watching. What this has meant so far, for us, is that we've gotten a lot of these dense little treats as gifts from students. They are a heavy pastry, stuffed with one of a variety of fillings, including lotus seed paste, nuts, coconuts, red bean paste, sesame, or taro paste. Korea has a similar tradition, but with sweet, chewy rice treats. Here are a few pictures: one of a moon cake (they all have an intricate pattern which includes the Chinese characters for "longevity" or "harmony" along with the name of the bakery and the type of filling); one of a box of Korean rice cakes; and one of Jeff enjoying sweet, chewy rice balls with an unidentifiable, but tasty, filling.