Thursday, September 11, 2008

Celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival in London

moon-cakes-london
















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.

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12 comments:

SheR. said...

I have some Paper Lanterns. Shall I send them over to you? ;P

Ai-Ling said...

hi, checking out your blog. well, u still hv time to hunt for those ppr lanterns :)

Jacqueline said...

Looks very tasty. :-)

cchiovitti said...

You know, I picked up some nice paper lanterns in London's Chinatown last time I was there. My memory is fuzzy but I seem to recall it being a very small shop a couple of doors down from a bakery and through an alley.

Not. Very. Helpful.

Sorry. :-)

My Bug Life said...

Ooh...yum..I love the ones with the yolk. Wishing you a great mid-autumn festival CK!

FiddyP said...

I saw you leave a comment on a forum about commentluv for blogspot blogs.
I have a version on show here
http://commentluv.blogspot.com

EastCoastLife said...

Oh good. You can get mooncakes in London too. :)

Dutchie said...

Will ur box of mooncakes survived until 14 Sept ? R they genuine like those in Sg ?

I wish I could have a big bite of ur pix :-P, they looked so yummy.

Karilyn Arias said...

hmm yummy Moon Cake huh! Never heard of it, I'll definitely have to try it someday soon...We have a ChinaTown in our city, so I'll look into it...

C K said...

@sher,
Sure! Can you send two... and throw in some candles as well will you? :p


@ai-ling,
Have tried looking for it to no avail. All I can find are those electronically operated... which cannot be set ablaze....


@jacqueline,
Oh yah, tasty and very fattening. If I'm not mistaken, the filling's made of ghee.


@cchiovitti,
Eh? Really? I spent some time looking for them but couldn't find any. Ok, I was more interested in getting mooncakes but still...


@my bug life,
Just got some with single yolk! Enjoy your Mid-Autumn as well!


@fiddyp,
Thanks for the heads up. Will check it out. Cheers!


@ecl,
Hmm... I still miss those special ones made by some hotels back home. Those are really great aren't they?


@dutchie,
Frankly, I don't think the mooncakes will last more a a day or two once I bought them.... I just have to finish all of them up. So not much worries there. :p


@karilyn,
Oh, be sure to get one with at least one yolk per mooncake. It's a little more expensive but taste way better.

cool games said...

Hmm i used to like the looks of mooncakes, till i tried one =\

Don't know why but they kinda dont taste so well, too dry and stale? and ive tried several times... so from now on im staying away from them...

C K said...

@cool games,
Hmm, sorry to hear that. Have you tried the non-baked version? Those are rather soft and come in a number of varieties.