Sunday, September 4, 2011

Full moon uprising

Hey fellas,

The dreaded Mooncake Festival is here again. It goes by different names. The Mid-Autumn Festival. The Lantern Festival. It's all the same. A very commercially driven festival. I can just imagine the moon cake sellers marking the calendar till they are able start selling the over-priced, overly sweet mooncakes. Some of the "premium" mooncakes go for a handsome ransom, enough to feed my 2 kids for a month.

Mooncakes are literally round as the festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month and on the 15th day, the moon is full. What you see above are traditional mooncakes. The filling is white lotus seed paste with pine nuts.

These are modern mooncakes called snowskin. They come in many flavours like pumpkin above, yam, purple potato, durian (gross) and you name it.

Know how I can tell the festival is round the corner? You see mooncakes and lanterns sold EVERYWHERE in Singapore. I believe some bakeries started selling the mooncakes in mid August. There ought to be a law....The actual date of the festival this year is 12th September. Which reminds me. Next weekend, if I were to leave home, I have to wear my fireworks-proof outfit. It's very cool. It has dragons...

See, this is what I really hate about the Mooncake festival. Kids and some older ones believe it gives them the license to set off fireworks and give this lady here the fright of her life. I'm terrified of fireworks, sparklers and generally any loud noises. I also have the knack of walking into the path of fireworks.

For me, the only good thing about the Mooncake festival? The boxes these mooncakes come in are pretty fancy. I look forward to the ones me hubs rescue or receive. Here are 2 he gave me in August.

This box looks really nice on the outside but the inside is just a plain box. I'm a little disappointed so little effort went into the interior.

This pink box is quite usable for storage. I like the compartments! This box holds 4 large mooncakes. The exterior actually came with a fancy cutwork but I accidentally threw it away.

I'm sure you've read how social media played a huge part in the uprising in the middle east? Well, a long, long time ago, long before any of us was alive, during a period when men still wore gowns, mooncakes were the equivalent of twitter/facebook. Now I learnt this in primary school from my Chinese language teacher and it was in my text book so it must be true. And this was how the Mooncake Festival came about......

In the 14th century, the Chinese in China were under the Mongols rule. Haha. Yes, once upon a time, the Mongols were mightier than the Chinese. A guy, let's call him Mr Zhu and his deputy, let's call him Mr Liu developed a plan to seize a walled city. They left messages of a planned revolt in baked mooncakes. Mr Liu disguised himself maybe as a monk and was able to distribute the mooncakes to the Chinese folks in the walled city. The folks ate the mooncakes, saw the secret message and at the planned time, everyone (maybe not the women and kids) came together and took over the city. Mr Zhu eventually became the emperor and established the Ming dynasty. Of course there are other folk tales of how the festival came about but I like this one best.

So what have I made the last 2 days? Just a few more same ol' zip pouches.

I've used this Junichi Nakahara print before. The quality of this fabric is really unusual and I can't find a suitable lining. So I used the same fabric for the lining which is something I never do.

I really like this blue. I notice I don't buy a lot of blue fabric.

I'm a little bit sick of this fabric....

But I like the size of this coin pouch. Just perfect for those little bits of scrap. See you.


Bethany said...

A festival devoted to cake? Yes please!

Relished Artistry said...

VERY cool!! It's interesting how fireworks are tradition in a lot more of your holidays than they are here in the US. But there aren't many holidays today that don't have some sort of "food" associated with them. Here in the US, we have holidays that feature food prominently: roasted turkey for Thanksgiving, pumpkins for Halloween, eggs for Easter, green beer for St. Patrick's Day, and chocolate for Valentine's Day... But none of them actually feature the food AS the driving force in the story of the holiday! Very cool!

Beautiful bags, Jane! Well done!

tamdoll said...

I like your festival story, funny how so many things are commercialized nowadays - at least you find a good use for the boxes the cakes come in!!

Be careful around the fireworks, I know my sister has a scar from getting hit by one once. I'm not crazy about them, I've only seen them once where it was really amazing - I think it was at Disneyland, they had a beautiful display and more importantly - lots of loud music to go with it that drowned out the terrible sounds of them exploding.

readwater said...

I really like the boxes... I think they are wonderful! As for fireworks.. please do be careful... They can be very dangerous. On the topic of moon cakes -- It is very interesting to hear of a holiday so focused on one type of food. That doesn't happen here like Relished Artistry says.

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