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Craftsmen create mooncake moulds by hand

09-21-2010 09:01 BJT Special Report:2010 Mid-Autumn Festival Gala |

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One of the most important traditional Chinese festivals, the Mid-Autumn Festival, is coming up. Many families are purchasing mooncakes to celebrate.

These days, most mooncakes are made by mass-producing machines, churning out hundreds at a time.

But, in Jiuweitun village in north China's Shanxi province,, moodcakes are still individually shaped with handmade moulds.

And, it's all thanks to craftsmen like Yan laisheng, who has been a mooncake mould maker for 32 years.

Yan said, "Almost every family had mooncake moulds in the 1960s, but most moulds were destroyed during the elimination of Four Olds. Then there were not enough moulds for villagers to make mooncakes, so I began to do it."

Yan has created round, crescent, gourd shape, tiger shape even Monkey King shaped moulds. He says locals are used to eating various shapes of mooncakes to celebrate as a family together.

He says mooncake moulds require a smooth, fine grain of pearwood.

Now, Yan's wife and two sons are mooncake mould makers too. Most of the moulds in Xiaoyi city have been made by them.

Yan 's son Yan Jinkai said, "Even though the mould market is not quite good, we still live on it. Making moulds is a skill that we want to pass onto the next generation and generation's generation."

Making a mould consists of four steps.

Shaping the mould.

Scabbling the mould. There is no blueprint or drawing. It all depends on the maker's experience.

Carving the mould.

And, engraving characters on the mould.

The characters engraved in the mould represent Yan's family aim: people sharing harmony all over the world.

Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV

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