Happy Mid Autumn Festival!
The mid autumn festival marks the autumn equinox, hence its name. It is also a time of harvest in most parts of China, and the people would offer up their fruits of labour, apples peaches pears grapes melons oranges, to worship the moon. This festival has been celebrated by the Chinese for a long time, since the Shang Dynasty from 2000BC-1066BC. It falls on the fifteenth day of the month when the moon is at its fullest, and people would have dinner together, and admire the moon while having sweet snacks and Chinese tea, to wish sweet blessings of family reunion.
A special food during the mid autumn festival is the mooncake. The mooncake is a sweet, dense cake, filled with a paste made from melon seeds, almond seeds, lotus or bean puree and orange zest.It is also round, to imitate the fullness of the moon. A salted egg yolk is traditionally embedded in the centre, and it is baked till the skin turns a light golden brown. The mooncake skin is embossed with traditional symbols of the festival. It taste gorgeous. Truly.
Family friends and relatives would give boxes of mooncakes to each other during the festival, to give well-wishes of family reunion.
Today, many Chinese celebrate the mooncake festival not only by eating mooncakes, but also playing with lanterns and recently sparklers too! Mid autumn festival in Singapore is a festive light-up. Chinatown, Clarke Quay and Marina Bay are lit up with decorative lantern floats and displays to commemorate the festival. Around the neighbourhoods children carrying lanterns dominate the playgrounds and parks. Most of them would sport electric lanterns that emit multicolour lights or even carry a tune, while more composed ones carried the traditional, delicate paper lanterns. Some children may even choose to play with just candles or sparklers.
When I was a kid i did them all with my brother. I had paper lanterns which caught fire, electric lanterns in the sharp of a rabbit, and boxes and boxes of candles which I stuck in the sand pit in the playground. I played with whistling sparklers too! They made my eyes dazzle.
On my way home from work earlier I saw several children who were out early parading their lanterns. Most of them carried electric ones.
I know it is quite a stick-in-the-mud of me to say this, but the paper lanterns definitely rocks much better. It is absolutely fantastic when it catches flames!