In a blink of an eye, the time for an array of mouth-watering mooncakes has once again descended upon us. Be it the traditional glistening, perfectly golden brown, baked skin mooncakes packed with smooth decadent lotus filling, or the modern soft, melt in your mouth, snow skin durian mooncakes filled with luscious and creamy umami explosions, there is definitely something to look forward to for everyone.
Unfortunately, with the recent global pandemic, festive spirits might be dampened with the many restrictions for gatherings and community activities. But, why let such a deep-rooted and widely enjoyed occasion swoop by without any proper celebration this year?
Here are some activities you and your loved ones can still engage in and make the most of during this time, regardless of where you are! (something for the young and old!)
1. Make and Hang Traditional Paper Lanterns
Remember the days where lanterns were made the traditional ways with paper, sticks and a waxed candle? There is a beauty and spirit in the simplicity of creating something so practical and fun, out of such basic materials.
As this nostalgia gets lost with the emergence of electronic lanterns coupled with countless animated designs, lesser and lesser of the new generation will get to experience the fun of the past. Why not use this opportunity to challenge those creative minds and create a lantern that is truly yours!
From the color of the lantern paper, to the drawings and design, the choice is all yours. The best is not over yet. Make sure the lantern holds its form and does not burn down before the lantern walking tradition is done in the nearby park!
Imagine the glow you would feel to have accomplished that, all hand made by you! A great bonding activity for all in the family, while soaking in the atmosphere.
2. Drink Osmanthus Wine
This is a cool one, for the grownups. The Mid- Autumn Festival is actually the time where the sweet-scented and refreshing Osmanthus is in full bloom. This light yellow flower known for its fragrance and health properties makes it perfect for winemaking during this period.
The Osmanthus flower is combined with high-quality rice wine to create a soft and mellow, but lingering Osmanthus wine that can be enjoyed alongside your mooncake during the night.
As the saying goes, a little wine, a tighter bind.
This tradition has been a hot favourite during family reunions during this occasion, with some even believing that drinking Osmanthus wine during the night of full bloom, prolongs one life.
You can even start to be more adventurous by learning how to pair certain teas and wines with your mooncakes.
3. DIY Mooncake Contest
If getting out of the house is not an option for you during this time, another hands on idea for your little ones would be a classic “Mooncake Contest” made from dough or clay!
A sure winner with both the young and old. Gather everyone around the table for an exciting time surrounded by laughter and eccentric mooncake creations. Go all out here as you create unconventional mooncake shapes, looks, and even sizes! Imagine a giant durian mooncake that can actually resemble an actual durian! That could be a masterpiece to keep in the display shelf for a while even after the Mid-Autumn Festival!
4. Riddle Guessing Game
Part of the fun of the Mid-Autumn Festival is the endless number of interesting riddles to crack one’s brain over during the night. Whether it is from the olden days of riddle guessing through Chinese characters/idioms/poems, to the modern-day trivia questions, be creative!
It can even be a learning exchange session where the elderly in the family can share about their riddles and deeper origins, while the young can challenge with quirky puzzles and out of the box mind games to create an endless night of sharing and enjoyment.
5. Moon Appreciation
Last but not least, as simple as it sounds, gather your loved ones to gaze into the mystical sky and appreciate this planet we are in and the planet Moon we see above. Contrary to some beliefs that such traditional festivals exist due to centuries of folk tales that have been passed down with no deeper meaning, their underlying purpose might well be heavily overlooked.
The simple act of gathering with loved ones to just catch up, slow down time, and engage in what truly matters has been diminishing in importance as our society progresses. Take a moment, look up at the beautiful night sky lit up by the scattered stars and brightest full bloom. Who knows, you might even spot Chang'e and her rabbit!
So here you have it, five amazing ideas to explore and spend this once a year joyous Mid-Autumn Festival, at the comfort of your home, surrounded by loved ones and of course, the yummiest mooncakes!