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Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Mid Autumn That Came and Went

Mid Autum or Chung Chau Jie, a harvest festival, is celebrated traditionally in China on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. Farmers rejoice over the abundance of crops after months of hard work.

Over in Malaysia, summer all year round, we celebrate with different reasons. Mooncakes and lanterns !  A time to binge on the high calorie snack and for the the kids, play 'tanglung'

When I was a kid, I remembered playing those animal shaped tanglung, lights dimmed, we walk around the house, each carrying our animal shaped tanglung, threading with care, not to drop, else we'll end up with 'for siu tang lung'.. and pity the kid whose animal shaped tanglung burnt to flames.

During those yerteryears, we indulge in traditional mooncakes from famous mooncakes  houses - Yook Woo Hin and Kam Lun Tai.

Unlike now, mooncake or Mid-Autumn festival is celebrated with much commercialism. You'll find mooncakes available almost 3 months before the festival. Every hotel and bakery sells mooncakes and varieties of flavours too (with many out-of-the-world flavors - cheese, sambal, gosh !!)

I still prefer my lotus single yolk. At most, I can accept white lotus single yolk. No other flavors, please.

Changing along with times, our kids now play with battery operated tanglungs. Amber has almost 10 of them, amassed over 4 years from her grandparents. Some play very annoying music, but the kids love them, what can I say ?

Hubs got her some paper lanterns with Mickey Mouse pictures (not-so-traditional, again). They were lying around the house coz we didn't have any candles to light them with. Amber pretended they were handbags and sling over her hands.

On Monday, we went to a friends house to have a pre-celebrations. The kids will play lanterns and the adults indulge in some chitter chatter with beer, snacks and all.

The candles ! We didn't have any candles !

So, off we were, on a frantic search for candles.

Hardware shop

No candles ! I can't believe it. I can't find a box of candles in my neighbourhood. !!!!

On Tuesday, hubs got her a battery operated one.. a goldfish that flaps it fins with blinking lights. He was so excited to show Amber the lantern. Guess what he did ? Passed the lantern to Amber, turned on his hi-fi and read newspaper  leaving Amber to 'play' with Mr Goldfish ! *sigh*

Yesterday, the actual celebration day, we were at my father's place for dinner. My nephews had passed the lantern playing age and no kids for Amber to play with. Luckily the neighbours invited her over to light some lanterns and later in the evening, hubs had an appointment and I asked him to drop me off at a friends house to play with some actual lanterns, lighting candles and all.

That was our Mid Autumn festival that went by...

'Tradition is only kept alive ...... if we chose to'