Lantern parties

We recently celebrated the mid-autumn festival and with the help of friends from KL and Shanghai, we even had some nice mooncakes (with yolks!!!). Ok, it wasn’t so much as a celebration as, ‘oh look, the moon looks massive huh?’ or ‘wow, the moon looks so big and round’, but we still acknowledged the festival. That’s what counts right?

Anyway, it got me thinking of when I was in primary school as we used to hold lantern parties at mid-autumn festival. My Mum would bake mooncakes. Yup, fresh lovely yummy mooncakes that I could put as many yolks as I could stuff into the mould. Nah… that bit isn’t true. Mum wouldn’t let me mess up the mooncakes, but she did let me eat all the egg crumbs after they were roasted. She made everything from scratch, even the lotus paste, which is very hard work and takes a long time.

I would have friends come round with their lanterns. As kids, you get these lanterns made in various shapes of animals. The most popular one is probably still the goldfish. I remember that once in a while, someone’s lantern would accidentally get burnt. They were just made with glass-paper or paper after all. It was the only time that kids were allowed to play with candles and fire.

We would also eat mini-yams and water caltrops, which I remember as bull-horns. I still love both. Families would sit in their gardens chatting and eating whilst the kids play with the lanterns and candles. It is a great memory, which, up until today, many of my primary school-mates still talk about. Perhaps it is time for another party.

Happy mid-autumn festival!

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