Most cultures have harvest festivals, and the Chinese are no exception. Based on Chinese legend and traditions brought to Singapore by our ancestors, the Mid-Autumn Festival is now celebrated yearly in August or September, to commemorate the selfless act of Chang' e, the wife of a merciless ruler. Many centuries ago, she drank the elixir of immortality to put an end to her husband’s evil deeds. The Mid-Autumn Festival is also fondly known as the Lantern or Mooncake Festival because of the festivities that surround the occasion.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated among both the mainland and the Chinese diaspora. Traditionally, it is an occasion spent with family members, similar to Thanksgiving. Observe and capture the timeless fond traditions surrounding the festival by heading to Chinatown, the vibrant hub of the Chinese community, to soak in the convivial mood. Make sure you are armed with a camera, and indulge in a little snap happy clicking of your own. The beautiful giant lantern displays, mini-stalls selling paper lanterns in various shapes and sizes and striking variations of the traditional mooncake delicacy will make great subjects for photography and add colour to your travels. For the culinary adventurous and budding gourmands, sample scrumptious mooncakes (a rectangular box or circle shape thick pastry dough filled with yummy ingredients) in traditional flavours like lotus and egg yolk or exotic varieties like durian, chocolate, coffee and ice-cream.
Set aside some time to watch performing arts troupes depict scenes from the tale of the elusive Chang E in the form of traditional dances, opera or puppetry shows for the ultimate Mid-Autumn festival experience.
Dates to note:
Mid-Autumn Festival in 2010 – 22 Sep 2010
Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2010 Street Light-Up
11 Sep – 10 Oct 2010
7pm – 2am (Fri, Sat and Public Holidays)
7pm – 12am (Sun – Thu)