Osmanthus Flowers and Moon Cakes

One of the many blooming Osmanthus trees in Lin'an

The scent of these Osmanthus flowers float in the air

Walking around our campus or near the West Lake in Hangzhou where many Osmanthus trees are growing is particularly wonderful now.  The Osmanthus flowers are in bloom.  The small yellow flowers have a delicate, sweet scent carried everywhere by the breezes.

The website http://toptropicals.com/html/toptropicals/plant_wk/osmanthus.htmi notes, “Osmanthus is one of the 10 famous flowers in China and Taiwan. A traditional symbol of Love and Romance, Osmanthus was used in old wedding customs in Taiwan, when the bride prepared Sweet Osmanthus and Pomegranate pot plants and carried them to her new family. The fragrant plant symbolized True Love and Faithfulness and the fruit tree – Fertility and Peace, and the custom had the meaning of “giving birth to noble children” and “many children and many grandchildren.”    This site also tells about the legends related to the Mid-Autumn Festival that we just had here in China.  On that day everyone eats little round moon cakes.  The ones I like are filled with black beans, but there are many variations, most are very sweet.  Everyone is supposed to go out that night after a big dinner to look at the moon and tell stories with family and friends.

I wish you were here to take a walk with us around the campus lake this afternoon.  We could tell stories and enjoy the scent of the Osmanthus flowers.

We were given beautifully packaged moon cakes

Yummy black bean moon cake



About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

2 responses to “Osmanthus Flowers and Moon Cakes”

  1. Shannon Russell says :

    Aloha Renee and Barry,
    I’ve enjoyed your experiences….. We miss you and do know that this is so inspiring for everyone. Aloha and have fun, Shannon

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