Sunday, September 18, 2005

mid-autumn festival

Today’s the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Chinese lunar calendar. The significance of it is that it’s the Mid-Autumn Festival celebration, and most Chinese would gather home for a reunion dinner of sorts.

Read more about the Mid-Autumn Festival in’s site, I found it to be a pretty good article and does justice to the tale rather than me trying to write a piece on it.

We had our reunion dinner at home too, except for my brother who went out of town and another uncle of mine who had business to attend to. Can’t say that it was out of the ordinary, it was a pretty simple, delicious meal courtesy of my Mum (as always!)… And oh yea, Dad helped cook too. Me? Uh… you know what they say, “too many cooks spoil the broth” so I decided not to “interfere” (laugh!).

After dinner we had these curious-looking nuts of sorts, called “ling kok” in Cantonese but I’m not sure what they’re called in English. They were apparently were brought in from China, and only available around this time of year. The mini yams also had some significance in the Mid-Autumn Festival, though I didn’t know why… Mum just said they were. I felt a bit sorry for my ignorance of what the old tales and traditions were when she was younger… they were certainly dying a slow death when we least expect it.

Ah, but I do know these… mooncakes! I’m not a fan of them, but couldn’t help taking a piece or two just to get the feel of the festival in its entirety. The only thing that’s missing was the lanterns we used to play with when we were young, those made from clear, coloured plastic wrap cut, shaped and pasted into various shapes, the goldfish being the far most popular next to the rooster. I remembered how I always managed to burn a hole in my lantern when the candle tilted too far to one side of it, and my brothers end up giving me theirs to stop me from sulking. These days they’re mostly battery-operated hard plastic moulds with ultraman and pokemon as the main line-up, though there are still a few of those old-style lanterns available for sale in a few curious shops.

Well then… another festival gone… I wonder what’s next?