Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mid-Autumn Festival in SG


My visit in SG coincided with the Mid-autumn festival little did I know. I had set my Sunday night to meet my Japanese student Kumiko who is now working in that country. Ok, can I just say that I'm proud of her? :) Most of the Japanese students that I am teaching dreams of working in an English-speaking country and there she is. *clap clap* She told me that she'll introduce me to the Japanese language students/ friends she regularly joins with and we'll observe the lantern festival.

I had chosen to pick the name mid-autumn festival because it is known by other names in different countries - moon/ mooncake/ lantern etc. And it is was confusing then because KY - the Singaporean guy below couldn't even explain it well to me (lol!) and we had lanterns and mooncakes (durian flavor) that night.

Wikipedia did help. The mid-autumn festival is a harvest festival that is majorly celebrated in China and Vietnam and the concept focuses on gathering, thanksgiving and praying. While making and sharing mooncakes is one of the hallmark traditions of this festival (the sharing of round mooncakes among family members signify the completeness and unity of families), it is difficult to discern the original purpose of lanterns in connection with the festival. The lantern tradition is believed to be inherited though from another festival which is celebrated a month before - the Ghost Festival.

We went to Bishan Ang Mo Kio Park here where a lot of other Singaporeans were observing too. I have to say, my favorite part would have to be the floating lantern. We all wrote our wishes on each side of the lantern and visible in the photo above is the the Chinese word I wrote for my wish. Aaah, still got my Chinese writing skills learned from my primary. Haha! :D  

Oh, what does that character that I wrote mean?

It's Ay. In Chinese, it means love. 

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