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15 July 2015

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Stealing Moon Vegetables

2019-09-11 Download Print Comment
In Xinhuang County, Hunan, on the night of the Mid-autumn Day, an interesting custom of "stealing moon vegetables"  (Tou Yueliang Cai) is popular in Dong villages. According to the legend, the fairies from the Moon Palace then pour down the sweet dew to the mortal world. The sweet dew symbolizes selflessness. To symbolize the act, people share the sweetness of fruits and vegetables together. The unique custom is called "stealing moon vegetables".
Dong girls hold pretty umbrellas and choose the garden or farm lands for their lovers to pick vegetables and fruits from. This is not regarded as stealing, but it is a unique way to express love. If they pick a twin vegetable or fruit, it signifies that they will have a happy life together. Married women also “steal moon vegetables” especially the fleshiest fruits and melons symbolizes birth of healthy and strong babies. Also, the vegetables can only be cooked and eaten in the wild rather than being brought home.