Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mooncake festival

The mooncake festival falls on today. When I was young, my family used to celebrate the mooncake festival (mid-autumn festival) at night by setting up a table with loads of food in the garden, under the gaze of the bright round moon. There would be red bean and lotus mooncakes, water caltrops (菱角, língjiǎo ), taro(芋头), pomelo, agar-agar and drinks. Back then there weren't many types of mooncakes, unlike now where vendors try to outdo one another with all sorts of fillings - green tea, dragonfruit, toffee, chocolate, coffee, yam, sesame - for the mooncakes.

We, the children would play with lanterns and candles. I would light up rows and rows of candles on our iron main gate. Whenever a candle flame has been blown out by the wind, I would quickly light up the candle again. When all the candles have burned away, I would collect the wax residue and mold them into various shapes. It was really fun playing with the candles.

When hunger struck, we would eat those delicious food under the moonlight while admiring the full moon. My mother would then tell us the various stories about the origins of this festival. Sometimes we would join other children in parading our lanterns around the village. I couldn't remember exactly the last time I celebrated the mooncake festival this way. I can safely say that I have not celebrated mooncake festival for about 20 years now.

Only children can truly savour and treasure the magical world of lanterns, candles and moonlight. So to all the children out there celebrating mooncake festival, may all of you enjoy this day to the fullest and let your imagination run wild with the stories of Houyi, Chang-er, the rabbit in the moon and many others.


  1. i had fun playing with my friends who were very creative - making lanterns out of (condensed) milk tins. they'll pressed/squeezed(?) the tins into an oval shape & cut out strips at the sides.

  2. Hi there, good that you have fun. I have many empty biscuit tins. Maybe next year, I will try making lanterns out of them and see whether I can rekindle the nice feelings of yesteryears.