I received an email from a pal telling me about the Mid-Autumn festival celebrations back home. To be honest, I've cleanly forgotten about it.
The Mid-Autumn festival, which falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar, commemorates the plot to overthrow Mongolian rule over China that led to the establishment of the Ming dynasty. Apparently, the would be rebels coordinated their attacks using small slips of papers inserted in thousands of moon cakes.
Fast forward 700 years later, the Mid-Autumn festival is all about lanterns and moon cakes (with all kinds of fillings in them), for me at least.
I recall getting paper lanterns for fifty cents per piece, candles excluded, when I was a kid. There was this silly game that we played back then. Basically, we lit up the candle and placed it within the holder in our paper lanterns and proceed to knock each other's lanterns with it.
After a couple of minutes, you would see a kids running amok with half burnt lanterns and the winner was the one with an unscathed lantern. A simple game with simple rules and we loved it… the boys at least.
Now, I contend myself with moon cakes bought from London's Leicester Square. At £16.95 per box of four (single yolk each), it's comparable to the prices back home with the horrendous exchange rate and all.
And I do miss my paper lanterns every now and then.