Today is the Mid Autumn Festival aka Lantern Festival aka Moon Cake Festival. It is also the 15th day of Lunar calendar.
We remember the name of the festival differently. As children, we remember it as the lantern festival because that was the only official ‘legal’ month to play with fire – I mean, lantern!
Back then, we lit candles in paper (or more fancy and expensive lanterns made of clear colored plastic sheets wrapped around wired frames of many shapes such as fish, butterflies etc) lanterns. These days, the kids carry battery operated lanterns.
It was one of my favorite festivals, even when I grew to become a young adult – secretly, I still have an unexplained yearning for it. I had so much fond memories in those episodes of my childhood. We role-played as families with the children we grew up with on the same floor of the building – some from other floors. That must be the only game that I truly enjoyed, that involved role-playing. ‘Pretending’ to be someone else made me well accepted by the children. The long common corridor was our playground, we pretended to be visiting other families (who would occupy other parts of the corridor) with our lanterns in our hands. Simple; Gratified.
For many other reasons, lantern carrying has become the most treasured, and almost sacred action to me. It must have bugged some of my former boyfriends whom I pestered to bring me to the Chinese Garden (it’s sort of a National Park with a Chinese theme) so that I could shamelessly carry lantern. I may appeared to be acting cute, but I was really reliving the happiest days – the days of hope. I wanted to share the same joy with the people I cared so much for, yet I didn’t understand then that the kind of joy I had experienced was not rarity to most people.
Older, we remember the festival as Moon Cake Festival. Obviously, that was when we started to appreciate food more than the kiddy playtime (nah, I am lying, I would go for the lantern anytime).
Studying, we learnt about the festival in the textbook. We were taught that it’s called ‘Mid Autumn Festival’.
I am not a big fan of moon cake; or say, I am very choosy of which type of moon cake to eat. I like the Teochew’s style – flaky skin with yam filling; and the snow skin with green tea filling (new fancy flavor). I love them with lots of melon seeds.
The husband brought back a gift box of moon cake from Fullerton Hotel. The moon cake has a ‘f’ on the front – it kind of looks like the facebook logo!
I didn’t try the moon cake, because I really don’t appreciate this type of baked moon cake, usually with ‘lian rong’ filling.
Mum says that it’s too sweet and the egg yolk is very hard and smells weird. Now, I will take her words with a pinch of salt. She made and sold moon cakes (by hundreds of boxes!!!) when I was a child. Even though she stopped making the baked style moon cake, she receives many (too many) requests for the moon cakes! She still makes the snow skin moon cake though, extra ingredients, less sugar! No one makes better moon cake than she does, I attest to that! (Although I haven’t tried that many moon cakes from others, that is!)
The packaging is what I would pay for, as a very presentable gift. It’s true, I do appreciate marketing and nice packaging. I really would pay more because they look pretty. I am shallow like that you know.
Have a wonderful Min Autumn Festival!