Classical Chinese Garden
NW 3rd and Everett, Portland, OR, 97208, 503-228-8131


When farmers see the Harvest Moon, they know it is time to cease the laborious days of reaping; and gather their relatives and friends for an outdoor reunion to feast on mooncakes and contemplate the moon, a symbol of familial harmony and unity. Families eat round fruits and sweets reminding them of the moon, the traditional mooncakes eaten during mid-autumn are filled with sweet bean or lotus seed paste, while more elaborate versions contain egg yolks, the round, yellow yolks resembling the moon itself, shimmering in the night sky.


The fall season also brings the harvest of one of the oldest fruits: the pomegranate. A Persian native, the pomegranate was brought to China about 100 B.C. by the Han dynasty representative, Jan Qian, who also introduced coriander, walnuts, peas, cucumbers, alfalfa, grapes and caraway seeds to the Far East. Its juice is tangy, sweet, rich and flavorful, often used as a base in sauces or as flavoring in drinks, savory dishes, and sweets. The seeds are a delight to eat by themselves and double as a beautiful garnish. Contained within the hard, rosy skin of the pomegranate are hundreds of seeds; thus their fabled connection with fertility and good fortune.