Mooncake crackdown: China’s annual Mid-Autumn Festival centrepiece banned

China Daily Mail

First baijiu, then red carpets, and now mooncakes. For Chinese government officials, the list of taboos keeps getting longer.

One month before the country celebrates its annual Mid-Autumn Festival, Chinese authorities said Wednesday that they are barring officials from buying mooncakes – a centrepiece of the holiday – as well as giving presents or hosting dinners on the public dime.

Traditionally, mooncakes are gifted (and often re-gifted) as a form of tribute during the festival, exchanged among family members as well as among companies, their clients and employees. “But this kind of polite reciprocity, when overdone, becomes a kind of squandering of cash,” ran an editorial in the People’s Daily on Thursday, praising the mooncake crackdown.

About the size of a hockey puck and traditionally stuffed with anything from red bean paste to salted egg yolk, these days, the once-humble mooncake is barely recognisable. Some are now…

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