Monday, September 15, 2008

Mooncake Festival/Mid-autumn Festival

Yesterday was the 15th day of the eighth Lunar Calendar. The Chinese Community celebrated the Mooncake Festival (as it is commonly called in Malaysia) or the Mid-autumn festival. This isn't a religious festival but more of a historical one. More on this festival can be obtained from the web. I think I'd leave it to the web for a more detailed write-up on the Festival. Interesting ones too. Here, I'd write on what we do. As is shown in the pictures, shops sells lanterns that will be carried by children. One can find lanterns in most sundries shop for sale. This particular place captured my fantasy because it actually is a Dim Sum place. A coffee-shop (as is commonly known here) that sells Dim Sum. Mooncakes are what is on the stall (red cloth draped around the counter. [Sorry, I forgot to capture one of the mooncakes.] What mom would do back then is, she'll have mooncakes placed on the altar, fruits and also little cups of tea as offerings. Water caltrop and mini yams are included too. I did too when my child was younger more to keep the tradition alive. Of course, many today doesn't practise such
traditions. My mom stopped after the astronauts landed on the moon! I think with the Apollo mission, mom gradually stopped believing Chang Er and HouYi lives on the moon. ahaaahaa...
I walked past this little boy with a lantern (as in picture below) and it brought back memories. I couldn't resist taking a snapshot of him. I would say he fascinated me as much I fascinated him with my camera. He stood and posed for me. I thought he looked real cute. What this little boy is holding is another type of lantern, made of paper. The ones sold at the Dim Sum place is a wee bit more expensive. They are made of glass paper (coloured transparent paper). I'll describe how I used to enjoy this Festival. My little friends (I was little back then) and I, together with my siblings can't wait for dinner to be over. After dinner we would line up in pairs, lanterns lit with candles and together, we would walk around the neighbourhood. All over, from the front of the house, down alleys and all. We'd sing, we'd joke and we'd laugh. Oh...spooky stories will be told by the older ones and sometimes it end up with one or two of us crying cause back alleys becomes very dark when the candles are blown out. Oh yah, devouring the mooncakes is another enjoyable time. How not to? It 'appears' only once a year! Ooo...we had such good fun. Today's children are different (not all though). Lanterns with artificial candles are carried. You know, those with candles that uses batteries. Some are even better, they come with music in tune with London Bridge etc. I didn't see any children walking in pairs around the neighbourhood last night. Talk about developement and progress...sigh. I think I still like how I enjoyed this Festival back then. Remembering how it wasn't easy hitting the water caltrops with a mini hammer to get to the flesh. The cooked mini yams and how yummy it tasted and how mom screamed when I coat it with too much granulated sugar. LOL...




**Water caltrop makes very beautiful waterplant. Just place it in a pot with some sand and pebbles to hold it down and fill it up with water.The paper used is actually coloured cellophane paper though I've known it as glass paper since my childhood days. Must be because it looks like glass...LOL [Extra pictures have been loaded up here.]

3 comments:

Shropshire lad and Suffolk lass said...

All very pretty and colourful. I can just imagine the spooky tales being told in the dark alleys in your childhood. Lovely photos, as usual and a very intersting description of something else I knew nothing of. Many thanks. Here, the church services will be holding harvest festivals soon. I went as a child and the church would be decoarated with fresh fruit and vegetables and bread shaped into wheat sheaves before baking. Nowadays I think it's more a case of taking donations of tinned produce which will be distributed to charities working with homeless people and other vulnerable groups. Not so pretty but very practical.

Bubbles...ooo said...

I am happy to share what we celebrate and practise here.
What can be said about development and traditions? People just couldn't be bothered or too busy? Like your harvest festival,the sentiments about it isn't there anymore,no? Children today,they are only interested in anything that has the word IT in it. Don't you agree? Tradition is nothing to them. Sigh, all will slowly fade away...
Bring home some pictures of your harvest festival, tinned produce or not, I'd still love to have a 'glimpse' of your tradition. LOL...

Shropshire lad and Suffolk lass said...

..... and how is your new kitchen roof coming on? Are you weather-proof yet?