Tonight is the Mid Autumn Festival and although there has been a lot of write ups about the festival, mooncakes, the legends, the lanterns and etc, I thought I'll add my personal perspective of the festival.
When I was a kid, I was fascinated with the festival as it meant I could play with my lantern. As my siblings were all grown up, I used to play a lot with my neighbours who were around my age. We had loads of fun and my fondest memories of the festival will be when their dad will accompany all of us for our lantern procession. Those days all we had were the cellophane type lanterns with their jewel like colours and the candles. Nowadays the kids get battery powered lanterns with music! Nowadays although I am too old to do a lantern procession, I love to see the kids around my neighbourhood get excited about their lanterns and do the little procession. Sadly, I was a bit late for the procession on Friday night but I did catch some pictures of the costume competition they had on stage.
Don't you love how those kids are all dressed up in different costumes? I like how the little Indian boy is all decked up in a Chinese costume complete with a pigtail. The other picture is just as cute as the Indian girl is wondering why that little one is crying away since that is her big moment on stage.
Sadly since I am now all grown up, the festival is no longer about playing with lanterns (which I still believe is the best part of it) but now it's all about the different type of mooncakes. Every year the food industry seem to come up with new trends to suit the changing tastes. Some weird ones I have read about are curry mooncakes, dragon fruit mooncakes, wasabi mooncakes and even cempedak snowskin mooncakes.
Although I am not a great fan of the mooncake, if given a choice, I will still stick to the traditional kind with the lotus seed paste and duck egg yolk. My favourite bit is actually the mooncake skin and I recently discovered these Heong Far biscuits which is just made from the skin and melon seeds. They are extremely nice and fluffy especially with those crunchy melon seeds.
Top Left: Traditional Mooncake, Top Right: Heong Far Biscuits and Snow Skin Mooncake
Bottom Left: Mango Jelly Mooncake, Bottom Right: Strawberry Jelly Mooncake
Ever since I made my first jelly mooncake for SHF 11, I have been hooked on making them. Two other varieties I have tried making are mango and strawberry as seen above. The mango one has a filling made from chunks of mango, mango puree and sago pearls. The skin is made from coconut milk. The strawberry one has a cream filling with a single whole strawberry to act as the egg yolk while the skin is made from pureed strawberries. Next year, I think I should add red bean paste and maybe cendol ones to my list of jelly mooncakes but this year, it's time to pack up all those molds and get on with the next festival which is Ramadan/Hari Raya Puasa!