Are you eager to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival without leaving home? The idea of not jostling with crowds or getting drenched in sweat is, perhaps, high on your priority list. How about celebrating it in style and pretending that it is “autumn” in tropical Singapore? Planning for a Mid-Autumn Festival party is pretty easy if you follow our tips.
What is Mid-Autumn Festival?
If you are Chinese, you would probably have heard about the gravity-defying legend of Hou Yi (后羿) and Chang Er (嫦娥). Mid-Autumn Festival actually has its roots in a harvest festival in China during the Autumn full moon. We celebrate a part of our heritage early September, also the 15thday of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, admiring the shape of the moon and searching for celestial beings in the clouds. Perhaps for most of us, it is the perfect excuse to enjoy mooncakes!
Essential Ingredients for Your DIY Mid-Autumn Festival Party
Some good company: One tip, if you have a neighbour who is not local, invite them over. They would probably enjoy the cultural learning.
Editor’s Note 2021: Do adhere to the latest guidelines and keep to your regular social circles.
Potluck: Since dinner is not the highlight here, it can be kept simple. A big pot of longevity noodles would work.
Mooncakes & Tea: Since Mid-Autumn is about gathering for lunar appreciation, mooncakes are an indispensable delicacy. Traditional lotus paste mooncakes are a safe choice, but snowskin ones with interesting flavours are a bonus! You could even make your own snowskin mooncakes with the children. (Playdough mooncakes are a fun option as well).
Mooncakes are enjoyed in small wedges, accompanied with a warm cup of tea.
Pomelo: Round and sweet, the pomelo is a popular choice of fruit for your Mid-Autumn party. As it is harvested during Mid-Autumn, it is said to be Chang Er’s favourite fruit. To make full use of the rind, you could upcycle it to make a lantern or a table centerpiece.
Osmanthus-flavoured desserts: Choose from the many traditional Chinese desserts available.
Lanterns: Take your pick! To burn some calories after overindulging in double egg yolk mooncakes, take a leisurely lantern-walk around the neighbourhood.
Sparklers: A favourite of children, be sure to light sparklers in open spaces and ensure children holding lighted sparklers are spaced a distance from one another.
Books about Mid-Autumn Festival: To educate both children and guests, parents could choose suitable literature from the library that weaves the significance of the festival into stories. It is also an opportune time to use the Mother Tongue language in this context.
- A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin (Junior Learning Picture Book – English Lin)
- Happy Mooncake Festival, Elena! by Dingli Stevens (Juvenile Lending – English STE)
- Moon Festival Wishes by Jillian Lin (Junior Learning Picture Book – English Lin)
- Papa, Please Get the Moon for me by Eric Carle (Junior Learning Picture Book – English Carle)
- 千里共婵娟by 王早早 (Junior Learning Picture Book – Chinese WZZ)
- 今天我们做月饼by 林文佩（Singlit Section – HAN LWP）
A window or balcony: How else would you spot Chang Er and the Jade Rabbit on the moon?
Music: There are many songs dedicated to the moon. There are some classics (但愿人长久,月亮代表我的心, Fly Me to the Moon, Moon River, Moonlight Sonata) we would love to play during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Otherwise, stick to a Spotify playlist.
Poetry Recital: For ancient Chinese scholars, writing and reciting poetry was the staple for entertaining during the Tang and Song Dynasties. Here are some examples of poetry written in those melancholic moments:
- Viewing the Moon, Thinking of You (望月怀远) by Zhang Jiuling – Tang Dynasty
- Prelude to the Melody of Water (水调歌头) by Su Shi – Song Dynasty
Are you excited about your own Mid-Autumn Festival party? We are sure you are feeling more empowered now, with the ideas above. If you are feeling more adventurous, you could visit one of the many lit attractions for your lantern walk. Otherwise, enjoy the company of the moon and your loved ones.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!