I just saw some lanterns being sold at a shop in my neighbourhood. Wow, this means that the Mid-Autumn festival is around the corner. This festival is also known as the Mooncake Festival or Lantern Festival. Every year it falls on the 15th day of 8th month on the lunar calendar. The Mid-Autumn Festival is about giving thanks for abundance and for joyful reunions with loved ones.
Many Chinese celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival by visiting family and close friends, casually chatting under the moonlight while enjoying tea and mooncakes. It is an opportunity to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures in life. When growing up, the Mooncake Festival was my second favourite festivals after the Chinese New Year of course. I looked forward to this celebration as we would always go to my aunt’s house to celebrate. My siblings, cousins and I will be playing with our lanterns and lighting candles on the gate, around the flower pots and the floor. The adults will be sitting around the table, eating mooncakes, baby taros, pomelos and water caltrop, a kind of water chestnut that is in the shape of a bull’s head. It was so much fun.
On the weeks leading to the Mid-Autumn Festival, there will be mooncakes for sale in many places such as Bing Liang Bakery. Business people would dutifully gift boxes of mooncakes, which range from the classic to the contemporary to clients and families would buy their favourites for their own Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations.
Gifting mooncakes is one of the hallmark traditions of the Mid-Autumn Festival in Asia. Every year mooncake makers outdo themselves by churning out delicious pastries with beautiful packaging.
Shopping for mooncake gifts is a big event for the Chinese and this tradition never goes out of fashion. So have you done up a list to gift your friends and families some delectable mooncakes?