Happy Mid-Autumn/Mooncake/Moon Festival ^_^
Have you eaten any mooncake yet?
Did you try those new flavours?
Do you like them?
Or are you just and loyal to the original, lotus seed mooncake (with yolks/without yolks/with double yolks!)?
I don’t know what do you name this festival. But personally, I grow up calling it ‘The Mooncake festival’.
Few days ago, when I looking at news feeds on Facebook. I saw people posting how excited they are about the festival. Little memories started coming back to me. I knew then I had to write this post.
Back then, one week before the festival, calls will start to ring the phone. “Hey, this time we are having it at [insert relative’s name] place!”
We celebrated it differently almost every single year. From my aunt’s most famous dishes to BBQ, we did them all.
When I was very very young, it was just my brother, my younger aunts and I. We played lanterns and candles (My mum always led us to forming a heart shape). We will light those candles and put them on the gates. And when we went to walk rounds around the housing area, we could see our candles’ lights from afar and hear laughters from my grandma and grand aunt/uncle (whom I treat them as my grandparents also).
As I grew older, one of the major-extended-family-drama-conflict got resolved and my brother and I had more people to accompany us to do silly things during the festival. My grandparents too had more company after that. They started to have karaoke section then. All oldies, mostly mandarin.
I remembered it used to annoy the hell out of my younger aunt/uncle (they are so young, I treat them like my cousins), my brother and I. We had to block our ears, not that the singing wasn’t good, it’s just the speakers were too loud. Normal days we can’t do anything about it, but during the festival, we would grab our lanterns and go walk rounds with it.
We used to buy new lanterns every year. During the night, we would reveal our lantern to show off and compare who have the coolest/cutest/nicest. No, it wasn’t just among the kids, even my mum’s cousins will buy lanterns to show off.
Sometimes during the rounds, one of the lanterns will start burn up itself and we would start to “WOOHOOO” as the green fire burn it up.
I don’t recall any crying incidents after lanterns got burnt up. I felt like it’s a little impossible that no such thing happened, maybe something like that did take place, it’s just that I didn’t recall.
Normally before we start the rounds, a table will be set outside, with stools around. Relatives will start taking out mooncakes they bought. They will be set in the middle along with fruits and jellies (most of the time) and chinese tea!
Mooncakes used to be just round and lotus seeds, then the green one came along (my current favourite) then the next thing I knew, it is Hello Kitty shaped tea flavoured mooncake. Holy cats.
Hmm let’s see. Bro and I used to burn up candles’ boxes. Actually, it is everything that my mother allow us to burn, will be burnt. Set everything on fire and play masak masak.
Once, I don’t remember what happened, but my uncle had to step on the burning stuff to stop it because it was getting dangerous o.O
Those were the days, really.
Then my uncles and aunts started to get married and built their own family. It did seem for a moment then, that our extended family grew bigger and merrier. But the bigger the crowd, the easier it is to start conflict.
From being big and merry crowd, we started to “not invite” certain family members or some started to distance themselves for silly little things. One thing leads to another, in the recent years, it didn’t look like to me we are celebrating at all.
*Disclaimer : Some relatives started working overseas to provide better living for their families.
We used to joke during that night. But all we do these days were why [insert name] won’t be coming, what drama took place. The whys, who and when.
Unity is important. Easy to come by but hard to make it stay. Treasure it. Don’t start unnecessary arguments around family members. We don’t want empty chairs during reunion dinner. Think about the future generations too, do you want cousins on street, not knowing they are cousins because of their parents’ ‘good deeds’?
I won’t be celebrating this Festival tomorrow like how I did many years back, though I hope it will still be a good one.
I wish you guys have a good/happy and delicious one!
Look out for the full moon but don’t point at it! ;)
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