According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the 8th month is the second month of autumn, and as the four seasons each have three months on the traditional calendars, the 15th day of the 8th month is ‘the middle of autumn’. Traditionally, this time of the year is also the harvesting season, and agrarian folks mark and celebrate their harvest on this day too, worshiping their gods as a gesture of gratitude and thankfulness. With the ‘harvest moon’ at its roundest and brightest, symbolizing togetherness and reunion in Chinese culture, families and the community gather together to express their familial and neighbourly love over a feast and enjoy the pearly moon shining brightly in the night sky.
The ‘authentic’ traditional mid-autumn festival celebration, I believe, is still practiced and can be found in many mainland Chinese communities, especially among the agrarian communities in the smaller towns and villages of China. In Malaysia, the celebration among Chinese communities is typically ‘watered down’ these days and typically revolve around gathering together for some activities (lantern parade) and enjoy some mid-autumn delicacies (mooncakes, mini yams, water caltrops (trapa bicornis), etc.), some which are only found this time of the year as they are imported from China.
This little boy was all smiles as he dug into his little pot of pudding … moolicious!
Yes, it’s a rather hot and humid evening, isn’t it?
My daughters’ school, being a Chinese vernacular school, does make it a point to celebrate mid-autumn festival yearly to promote and keep the culture and tradition alive among the younger generation. This year, mid-autumn festival falls on Sunday 27th September, the event organising committee again lined up an interesting and fun filled program of activities with the students reciprocating by putting up a splendid and entertaining repertoire of performances for all to enjoy. Only thing lacking, no bright pearly moon to be seen as it was cloudy and hazy evening :(. After the opening ceremony followed by a number of formal speeches from the respective VIPs, it was showtime. All the students were set and raring to perform …
Beautiful graceful swans each and everyone of them …
A group replicated the Beijing Olympics water drumming performance with their own brand of stylish and energetic drumming performance. Naturally, they were all soaking wet after the performance, but they thoroughly enjoyed it, from their smiles …
‘Girls, you are up next with your traditional Thai dance performance, all of you look fabulous, best of luck with your performance …’
Were the audience enjoying the performances, let me know what you think …
My daughter’s favourite teacher, her English teacher, also double as the school photographer during events, a very nice man, seen here either adjusting his camera settings or checking his photos.
The school’s board members and parent and teachers committee, in the spirit of joyous celebration and participation reciprocated by contributing a few songs too … and mind you, they were good! karaoke fans, I bet.
Of course, the night is still young and did not end here, next up was the candle lighting, lantern parade and the star performance for the night – the lion dance, which I will share in a follow-up post later.
Hope you enjoyed the photos so far from the night.
Note: Just in case you were wondering why some people are putting on health masks, it’s because we (Kuala Lumpur folk and many others living along the peninsular west coast) were inundated with a high level of air pollutants that day from the open burning of plantation clearing activities in Sumatra, Indonesia. It is still a problem for us at present, and according to the authorities, is expected to remain with us until early next year :(.
All photos Fujifilm X-E1 and X-E2 with assortment of XF lenses.