Happiness Is a Fortune Cookie

Fortune Cookie Day

Reading Comprehension for September 13

Fortune cookies are an American tradition when eating Chinese food. They are not an item you would find in restaurants in China. How did these little cookies with a message inside come about? The original idea may have started in a strange way. Long ago, the Chinese people had a problem. The Mongols took over China! The Chinese didn't like this one bit. They came up with a plan. They used a tiny baked cake. This cake may have been the ancestor of the modern fortune cookie.

One story tells that a man named Chu Yuan Chang had the idea first. He wanted to get rid of the Mongols. He had to figure out how to alert everyone about his plan. Many Mongol soldiers walked around. Talking about his plan was impossible.

The Mongols didn't like the lotus nut paste that the Chinese used in their mooncakes. Mooncakes were passed out during the Moon Festival. Chu Yuan stuffed a little message into the mooncakes instead of lotus nut paste. The message explained his plan. Since Mongols didn't like mooncakes, it was a secret way to alert everyone.

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