You know the festival is around the corner when every shopping mall you go to has a huge bazaar at their concourse with stalls from all the top hotels selling mooncakes there.
The Mid-autumn festival is also called the moon-cake festival or the lantern festival.
There are many stories surrounding the festival and you can read about them here
During the mid-autumn festival, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, chinese families will eat mooncakes, steamed sweet potato and yam (of the small variety) and drink chinese tea whilst the children will parade around with their lanterns. Of course, most will also look up at the moon and comment about how bright it looks that night, hoping to catch a glimpse of Chang Er, or the Jade rabbit.
This year, the festival falls on September 30th 2012.
It's more than a week to the festival, and mooncakes are already presented as gifts to business associates.
Mooncakes come in various varieties. Traditionally they are baked with a lotus paste filling and with salted egg yolks in them. Now we see them with red bean paste, nuts, with green tea and other flavoured lotus paste, with durian and other fruit fillings, and even with a chocolate truffle filling,and can come baked or chilled with a snow skin. It is just the enterprising ways of businesses trying to capture a bigger size of the market share.
And the boxes of mooncakes even come with a plastic knife and forks included in the packaging.
Lanterns carried in the past were either made of paper or colourful cellophane, and were lighted with a candle placed in it. Nowadays there are even battery operated ones in plastic material, for the younger children, for safety reason. Previously all the battery operated ones played garish music.
At the recent mid-autumn festival at school, we were advised to bring lanterns for the children that were battery operated. My first thought was - "What?!! I dont want one of those with that loud music!!"
Fortunately when I went to the shop I found that they now sell a LED light which you could fix onto any lantern.
Looks like we are all ready for the festival. Are you?