It is just 6 days away from the Mid Autumn Festival (22 September 2010)! The Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節), also known as the Moon Festival [or Lantern Festival and Mooncake Festival in Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines] is a popular harvest festival celebrated by the Chinese on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Lunar Calendar. It is typically celebrated among families and a time of feasting on mooncakes.
This particular festive period is something I look forward to throughout my childhood years. I remember when I was a kid, most of my dad’s extended family would congregate at my old house [at Potong Pasir] during this time of the year to celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival. The adults would buy the goodie bags [consisting of a mooncake, a battery-powered lantern, sweets, etc] from the Community Centre for us while my cousins and I would go to the provision shops to buy candles, sparklers and the bomb bags.
We would start the night by laying as many candles as possible at the void deck of a HDB flat, sometimes we would attempt to form a pattern or an image. It was a constant fight with the wind as the wind would ‘continuously harass’ us by blowing out the candles. So, in order to stop that, we siblings would ‘unite’ our strengths, and block the wind in an ‘enclosed squatting position’ while lighting the candles.
When we are done with the candles, we would play with some sparkles, even coming out with unconventional methods to play with the sparklers! We would break out the sparklers and put the highly flammable mass together at one point, light it up and watch it sparkle away on the floor.
Next, we would go to the remote playground near our house to play catching and lay out some bomb bags. I remember there was once when we experiment putting bombs underneath a box and see if the box would have any reaction such as flying into the sky or explode etc, when the bomb bag explodes, which of course didn’t. Haha! The highlight of our night is to create the Rocket! My cousin who was the brains behind this invention taught us how to make the Rocket! There was once we made 2 Rockets in 1 night, the first failing and actually had the potential to cause hurt (it toppled)! The second rocket flied up as high as 3 to 4 Stories high! No joke! And we ran away quickly after witnessing the amazing feat after we notice the person living at the 3rd storey was witnessing what happened. Hahahaha! We even have proof! (The burnt marks at the playground, if it hasn’t been removed yet) So how to make a Rocket?
To make the Rocket:
- Bend 4 non-flammable part of the sparklers equally to a 90 degrees angle
- Put the 4 flammable part of the sparklers together with the non-flammable part of the rocket spaced 90 degrees between each other (form the rocket stand)
- Bend a small portion of non-flammable part of the 5th sparklers all the way to make that end touch the other end
- Slot the 5th sparklers directly in the middle of the 4 sparklers
- Wrap the 5 sparklers with the sparklers box (you must dismantle the box and fold the box around the sparklers) and bind the box with tape or anything that can hold the tension
- Make sure the flammable part of the 4 sparkles are not exposed while just the tip of the flammable tip of the 5th sparkler is exposed at the based of the rocket
- Lay the rocket at a remote and safe place, get your friends to stand at a safe distance
- Light the tip of the 5th sparkler
- Watch the Rocket fly!
And when we are done creating a havoc, we would head back to my place for some good old traditional mooncake before returning to our respective homes. Fuflillfing night! Hope to be able to relive those nights with my cousins someday. What is/was your Mooncake Festival like? 🙂