The SYP team tucks into a variety of sweet festive treats to report on their favourites Mid-Autumn Festival is my favourite time of year. It is a time to get together with the family, light lanterns and feast. The highlight of the festival is a great feast on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Lunar Calendar (September 11 this year). Mooncakes are round, symbolising a gathering of family and friends. Some say that Chinese people have been eating mooncakes since the Sung dynasty (AD 960-1279). But most people believe that the mooncake originates from a Han uprising against Mongolian rule during the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368). The legend goes that Zhu Yuanzhang, the leader of the Han clan, was planning to overthrow the Mongolian throne. To unite the people on the same date, his adviser, Liu Bowen, suggested spreading a rumour that eating mooncakes could protect people from the plague. When people cut open the mooncakes, they found a note saying 'Revolt on the 15th of the eighth month'. On that day, Han people joined together to free themselves from Mongolian rule. Mooncakes have gone through many changes. Traditional ones are made of lotus seed paste and salty egg yolk, but there are many variations. Which ones are the best? The Sunday Young Post has found out. Low-fat mooncakes: Kosmo healthy mooncake This is developed by the Island Shangri-La Hotel for the hip coffee house in Lan Kwai Fong. The low-sugar mooncake has three different styles: green bean paste, red bean paste and seaweed paste. Comment: It has a really nice taste and the paste is smooth. Since it's not made with lard, it doesn't have the traditional mooncake fragrance. Maxim's low-sugar lotus seed paste egg yolk mooncake The fat in mooncakes is the main thing stopping people from enjoying this festive food these days, so Maxim's had to join in the low-sugar trend. Comment: The pastry and yolk are rather dry compared to the traditional mooncakes, but the low-sugar aspect makes it still worth buying. Alternative mooncakes: Kee Wah Chinese ham with mixed nuts mooncake Instead of using sweet lotus seed paste as the main ingredient, this mooncake features the traditional five nuts and shredded Chinese ham. Comment: This is more like a cereal bar than a moon cake. The nuts are lovely! It's neither greasy nor sweet. The pastry crust is thin. It's excellent for anyone who wants to deviate from the traditional mooncake. Aji Ichiban - mochi mooncake, Japanese-style Produced by snack chain Aji Ichiban, this mochi mooncake with chewy sticky rice filling made to a Japanese formula is totally untraditional. Comment: The name is deceptive. Its content is far from what we know to be mooncakes. It's not even qualified to be a nice piece of cake. Combining chewy sticky rice paste and sweet bean paste together gives a weird taste. Traditional mooncakes: Kee Wah golden lotus seed paste mooncake Celebrating its 65th anniversary this year, Kee Wah is one of the oldest cake manufacturers in Hong Kong. Instead of using lard, this golden lotus seed paste mooncake is made of peanut oil. Comment: The lotus seed paste is so sweet that it overpowers the taste of the pastry crust. Maxim's white lotus seed paste mooncake This is the best-selling mooncake for the past five years, according to an ACNielson survey done between 1999 and 2002. Maxim's is also the first cake manufacturer to be awarded the 'Q' mark of quality by the Hong Kong Industrial Association. Comment: The lotus seed paste is creamy and smooth. It's much less sweet, which allows you to taste the pastry. The fabulous egg yolk tastes like pistachio nuts.