Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Happy moon cake festival everyone!

Tanglung / Lanterns Posted by Hello

Pic: It's traditional to hang lanterns out during the moon cake festival. These usually comes in various forms from the simple paper accordion lantern to more elaborate constructs of bamboo, wire and coloured paper in shapes of animals, cartoon characters or objects. Children usually enjoy this time of year due to the fact that they can eat mooncakes (a soft crusted baked pie with fillings, usually lotus paste), parade their new brightly lit lanterns and generally pig out.

Happy moon cake festival everyone, hope everyone out there celebrating this festival is out enjoying themselves lighting up their houses with candles and lanterns! Well have fun you all.

It appears that modern times have caught up with age old festivals. In accordance with modernising age old customs to suit the taste of us modern city slickers (as well as to earn their cash in terms of sales), consumersim has again struck. The modern day lanterns are tailored to the biggest taste appeal of children, namely television. Not that a tv shaped lantern is being carried out by hundreds of kids, but that whereas the old lanterns were simple or used templates of zodiac animals, the new updated versions showcase Pokemons, Ultraman, Powerpuff girls and even celebrities! Also the appearance of electronic lanterns, (though this is not so recent) run by batteries rather than candles is now a commoner sight, to the relief of parents that had to deal with the probability of their house catching fire by careless child mishandling.

Another point to note is the moon cakes itself. Whereas the pasar malams (night markets) used to sell these delicacies, un-adorned in trays, now large companies such as Tai Thong and Overseas Restaurant are packaging them in nicely made enameled tin containers, pre-packed and individually air sealed. These containers are even promoted as collector's item akin to stamps or baseball cards, with their stylised designs, Chinese poetry scripts and even excerpts on the history of moon cake preparations. Consumer tastes are also whetted and spoilt for choice as the range of moon cakes has blossom tremendously. No longer do we have to be content with plain flavours of lotus paste and tau sau (red bean paste). The bold can now go for flavours such as Dragonfruit wonder, green tea blend, yam and kaya treat, coffee aficionados can taste the creamy mocha sensation, true Malaysian can have their durian pandan delights and there's even dodol (sticky rock sugar liquorices) lotus paste with 4 (count em 4) yolks within!

Oh well, times change but we can still expect to see children walking down the street clutching their lighted tanglungs/lanterns (candled or non) for quite some time to come, so till next year!


Fred da Brit Siamese said...

Your blog / journal is both interesting and enlightening. Thank you.

Roy.R, Essex, United Kingdom

Adrian said...

Thats last year's photo!!!

Kervin said...

Didn't say it was not. Well already mentioned photos from my personal archives. Anyway not much celebration here this year with rain and all. Keep the comments coming.

Anonymous said...

Su Ling: It was raining here. Sigh!