Mid-Autumn Festival is also know as Lantern Festival or Mooncake Festival in Singapore. For every festival, there are lanterns hanging across the street and children showing off their beautiful lanterns. I still remember I used to hold a paper folded red lantern and sometimes it would catch fire if I swing it around. Now the lantern are battery operated so it will be safe for children. Each year, the lanterns are getting more and more fanciful.
For those of you who do not know the background to this festival, there are two versions of the original stories:
Some say Hou Yi shot down nine of the suns and left only one to provide light. He received a magic potion of immortality which he refused to take as he wanted to be with Chang Er. One day, Feng Meng forced Chang Er to give up the potion. She swallowed it and flew to the moon. Hou Yi came back home and found out. So every 15th day of the Eighth month of the Chinese calendar the day she flew off and became the Moon Goddess of Immortality, he put out fruits and cakes for her.
Others say it is Chang Er who stole the magic potion to prevent her evil husband King Hou yi from becoming immortal. She took the portion and fled to the moon.
The latter story was the one I was brought up with.
Now I would like to tell you more about mooncake. Again there are two versions of how mooncake came along. They say it is an offering to Chang Er as she is the Moon Goddess of Immortality. Others say it is a folk tale about the overthrow of Mongol rule facilitated by messages smuggled in moon cakes. A secret message hidden inside the cake and once the messages were read, they were destroyed by eating the cake.
Making a mooncake is not very easy. I wanted to make some but I could not find the right ingredients in the Chinese supermarket so I bought a tin of ready-made mooncake. This is the double yolk lotus seed mooncake. The yolk is from salted duck eggs. I normally save it for Mr C. Yuck! I hate the salted yolk. The filling comes in various types. I personally prefer lotus seed to red bean paste as they are lighter in flavour. I love the skin as it is like a firm crust. They are always beautifully baked. If you see one in the UK, go and give it a try! They are delicious!
These are a few photos I would like to share with you.
This is the biggest mooncake in the Philippines, Eng Bee Tin Binondo, Manila. My friend B kindly shared her personal photo on my blog.
The following picture was shared by a Singapore friend Mrs D. Her son is carrying an Angry Bird lantern.
This is in one of the hotel kitchens where they make mooncake. Credit to Mr BG.
These are from my lovely friend ST collections:
Thanks to all who shared. Do you have any photos you would like me to share? Contact me!