Moon Cake Sales Increase During Holiday

Cambodia’s Chinese residents celebrated the annual Moon Fes­tival on Saturday, marked by the delicious pastry that rings in the holiday—the moon cake.

This year, there are more shops selling moon cakes than ever before, and more people buying the flour-based, moon-shaped sweets, said Fong Ly, a member of the local Chinese association.

The festival is celebrated at mid­night by the light of the full moon. “If you forget to hold the moon festival, your family will face great unhappiness,” Fong Ly said.

Sok Lykeang, 45, celebrating the festival at her home in Olym­pique commune, Chamkar Mon district, said observing the annual ritual is a source of hope. “I asked the moon god for good luck and long life, and especially to keep my family together and happy,” she said.

Chan Bunthorn, owner of the Apsara pastry shop near Phsar O’Russei, has been selling moon cakes for eight years. Business is better than in previous years because the number of Chinese-Cambodians continues to in­crease, he said.

“They all buy the moon cakes to give to each other…and they gather to have parties at their houses,” he said. The moon cakes are traditionally eaten with hot tea, he said.

“[The festival] is very sacred to believers, because the rabbit”—thought to be the only animal that can catch the moon—“and the moon are thought to give them good luck forever,” he said.

Huang Pao Fa, 23, said the midnight celebration is always a joyous occasion. “I asked my mother to let me take part in a party at my aunt’s house,” he said. “We had moon cakes and tea and cheered with our friends.”

Ly Shieng, who sells moon cakes and Chinese lanterns on a corner near Phsar Olympic, said, “I lit a lot of Chinese lanterns in front of my home and my shop. A lot of Chinese customers come to buy the moon cakes, including my friends.”

Ly Shieng said she made more than 2 million riel (about $500) selling moon cakes this year, about double what she made last year. The moon cakes cost from 7,000 riel ($1.75) to 10,000 riel ($2) each, depending on their size, she said.


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