|Place of origin||China|
|Main ingredients||Rice flour, pulse flour, jujube, chestnuts, almonds|
Chongyang Cake (Chinese: 重阳糕) is a kind of traditional cake eaten on the Chongyang Festival. It is baked and steamed, mainly made up of rice flour and sugar, then decorated with jujube, chestnuts and almonds. As the word for "cake" (糕) sounds like the one for "height" (高) in Chinese, people regard it as a lucky food.
Chongyang cake began to be popular in Tang Dynasty. In Song Dynasty, the cakes became popular in Bianjing (now called Kaifeng), in Linan (now Zhejiang), Hangzhou) and other major cities. To this day, the sweet remains popular throughout China. The food is symbolic and means the appreciation and the memory of families and friends who have passed, while it also reminds people to value and highlight the importance of family relationships.
Legends of the origin
The first version to the story of the origins of the cake says that before Liu Yu became an Emperor, he was in the Chongyang Festival in Pengcheng. When he became the Emperor, he made a law that people could ride, shoot and review the troops every year on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month. The Chongyang cakes were given out to the soldiers. The other version says that Kang Hai (the Zhuangyuan of Ming Dynasty, from Shanxi, attended the imperial ranking examination in August. However, he got ill and stuck in Chang'an. He wasn't home when a reporter went to his hometown to tell him the good news, but Kang Hai was still in Chang'an, and the reporter was unwilling to leave without a reward. When he came back, it was the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, the day of the Chongyang Festival. As a reward, he gave the reporter money and some cakes to celebrate his success. Because the cakes were used to celebrate his success, since families who have children who are going to take school exams would give out cakes to them and the neighborhood as a symbol of good luck. Then the custom that people eat Chongyang cakes has spread.