Osmanthus Flowers and Moon Cakes
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.