“Stealing moon vegetables”, Xinhuang, Hunan
During the night of the Mid-Autumn Day in Xinhuang county, Hunan, an interesting custom of “stealing moon vegetables” is popular in the Dong villages. According to legend, the fairies from the Moon Palace would pour down sweet dew to the mortal world. The sweet dew symbolizes selflessness. Therefore, people could share the sweetness of fruits and vegetables together. This unique custom is called “stealing moon vegetables.”
Dong women hold pretty umbrellas and choose the garden or farm lands of their lovers to pick vegetables and fruit. Of course 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 happy affections. Besides, the vegetables can only be cooked and eaten in the wild rather than bringing them home to eat.