Season of Mooncakes

Next tuesday is the Chinese Mid Autumn Festival and already if you have been to Clark Quay, would have spotted the light up and festivities along Singapore River. For me, I live near Chinese Garden which is decked out in its annual lantern parade but unlike Singapore River, charges $12 per entry. Still, passing by at midnight on the MRT last night had me captivated.

But honestly, what is Mid Autumn festival without mooncake?

If you are not familiar with the Mid Autumn Festival, Wikipedia describes it as “a popular Asian celebration of abundance and togetherness, dating back over 3,000 years to China’s Zhou Dynasty”. It is usually celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. So straight after the 7th lunar month of hungry ghost, now we have the 8th lunar month of hungry monkeys looking at mooncakes!

As early as last month, on the very first day of mooncake sales at Raffles Hotel’s, I was there, at Raffles Hotel, buying my favourite mooncake.

Photo of last year’s banner. This year is in the exact spot but with a different shade of baby blue

Every year, without fail, I will purchase at least a box of Raffles Hotel mooncake. Not only are the flavours luxuriously and decadently sinful, I am enamoured with the design of the mooncake boxes. They have a consistent branding and design with a different colour and “cover lady” every year. I’m proud to say that I have obsessively collected 5 different boxes over the last 4 years! Of course they serve as wonderful containers for knickknacks and other trinkets.

My collection!

I would have said my favourite flavour is the snowskin lotus-paste macadamia but 2 years, after a great dispute with the oblivious sales personnels who insist the flavour never existed, I’ve since consistently been a fan of its snowskin champagne truffle mooncake. I told you they were decadent!

This year they even have organic flavours and if I could just take time off work, I would go and buy myself some new flavours. If you still have no idea what mooncakes are, here’s a look below! Mind you, these Raffles Hotel mooncakes are by no means traditional beyond its shape and look.

Of course in addition to Mooncakes, lanterns are a big feature. That’s why it’s also called Lantern Festival around Singapore and Malaysia. I still remember childhood celebrations are never without multitudes of candles, sparklers and paper lanterns lighted with candles within which later evolved into plastic battery operated ones. The literati amongst us probably prefer the genteel way of celebration which involves chinese tea and mooncake while admiring the moon and serenading its beauty with poetry!

There are so many stories, history and legends surrounding Mid Autumn Festival but I think I’ll leave that to another person another day.

1 Comment so far

  1. manix genabe (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2007 @ 1:27 am

    very good post. please keep up the good work!

    manix – philippines

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