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QVM Mooncake Festival 2012

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by Gabbyna (subscribe)
A coffee a day keeps my friends near, spontaneity keeps my heart clear. I lack sometimes the steam, to pursue the never-ending dream.
A day of eating and playing under the moon
The Mooncake Festival, also known as the mid-autumn festival is an important festival in the Chinese custom. It is celebrated on the fifteen day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar, which is usually in September or early October. This is the day which the Chinese believe that the moon is at its brightest.

You can celebrate the QVM Mooncake Festival on Sunday the 30th of September at the Queen Victoria Market, where there will be food, performances, and a lantern parade.

Every Chinese festival has its myths behind it, which are shared with Chinese children as bedtime stories and in school plays. This festival has a history dated nearly 3000 years ago and like all fairy tales, it begins with a "Once upon a time" and ends with a " Happily ever after".

Legend has it that there was a brave soldier, called Hou-yi, of the Imperial Guards and he was requested by the Emperor to shoot down nine out of the ten suns in the sky, which were causing severe drought to the lands. The soldier who was a sharp archer (think Legolas from Lord of the Rings) shot down the nine suns and ended the drought. In gratitude for his service, the Emperor bestowed him an elixir of life. However, the soldier's wife, Chang-E, ate the elixir instead, and she became so light, that she flew to the moon, where she lived happily ever after.

Nobody knows if she ate the elixir to run away from her husband, and no, this is not a weight-loss commercial.

The highlight of the festival is the moon-shaped cake made of lotus paste, lotus seeds and egg yolk, which is traditionally eaten during this festival. Mooncakes are usually baked and sold only during this time of the year, so it is really pertinent to get your fill of this tooth-decaying sweet and pleasurable snack during this day.

In accompaniment to the gazing of the moon, lanterns in different modern shapes like rabbit, goldfish and butterfly, or the traditional paper lanterns are lit and carried around. The sight of seeing the place filled with many lit lanterns will be unforgettable. Unfortunately, this event does not run after dark.

Photo: Philo Vivero (Wikimedia Commons)

Alive Group, the organizer of this event, has also invited 20 authentic ASEAN restaurants to this festival, namely from Korea, Taiwan, China and Japan. Besides mooncake tasting, there will be stalls that feature lantern making, face-painting and sand art.

In true Chinese culture, the essence of the mooncake festival is for families to bond and spend quality time together, which will not be hard in the midst of the amusement and binging at this festival.

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Why? Experience oriental cuisine and culture
When: 30 September 2012
Where: Queen Victoria Market
Cost: Free to public
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