Depending on where in the world you are today is the Mid-Autumn Festival, Moon Festival, Mooncake Festival, Lantern Festival or just plain Sept. 8. In Singapore we alternately called it the Lantern Festival or Mooncake Festival. Whatever you call it, it’s fun. We found some small, inexpensive mooncakes at Buford Highway Farmer’s Market (I didn’t want to buy a big, expensive tin) and a cellophane lantern at Hong Kong Supermarket. The holiday actually started Saturday and when we went Saturday night the lanterns were pretty well picked over but we got one shaped like a rose.
I decorated with some paper lanterns Heath brought from Singapore (I didn’t really want to light a candle in them) and we had two kinds of mooncakes (red bean and lotus seed paste), pandan cake (because Katy saw them in the store and wanted to try them) and curry puffs (because I made them today and we had them.
Katy invited her friends Catherine and Elizabeth and their mother, Lu, over. Lu is from China so the girls are learning about all these holidays, too. They brought some Korean mooncakes from Super Hmart to share. They were really yummy. Lu said she pretty much quit buying mooncakes because she was the only one eating them. She said in China everyone made their own and the neighbors shared so everyone got a variety. I mentioned I’d never heard of homemade mooncakes and Lu said that’s because they’re hard to make.
When it got dark Katy went out with her lantern. I told her in Singapore all the kids would have lanterns and parade through the neighborhood with them. Lu said they don’t have lanterns in China at the Mid-Autumn Festival but on the 15th (and final) day of Chinese New Year is a lantern festival. She also said Mid-Autumn Festival is a public holiday in China. There’s more agriculture there so the Harvest Moon part of the celebration is the main focus.
Here’s a photo of my brother and me with our lanterns (the ball one my mom picked out) when I was just a year older than Katy.