The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

The whole of the moon

on September 8, 2014

No, Husband thankfully outgrew full moon presentations many years ago.

Today is Mid-Autumn festival, it’s the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month in the Chinese calendar. It means the moon is at it’s fullest for the whole year and we’ve been out moon gazing. We really have.

Last year there was no moon to be seen, this year big full moon. Everyone’s happy. Especially #3 who thinks being out after dark is the coolest thing ever.

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But what really interests #1, 2 and 3 the most is what is there to eat.

Mooncakes.

Having been distracted with Birthday partying the whole of August, we’ve not been scavenging from the many mooncake stalls in the shopping malls. It’s easily an afternoon’s activity going from one to another testing all the many varieties on offer. I reckon #1 and 2 can get through half a mooncake each on such outings. That’s $15 (£7.50) of mooncake. Far better than going to a coffee shop for a babycino and healthy bran muffin for the same price.

Apparently my Dad, Mr Li, can recall when I was the same age I could eat a whole one to myself. Really? They made me gip for years afterwards and it’s only since living in Singapore when there are more varieties than I knew possible that I’ve become reacquainted with them. Snowskin champagne truffle you say? Has it got real alcohol in? It has? Ok then.

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With all festivals there’s some meaningful moral story behind it. As we wandered around Chinatown admiring the orchid flower lanterns and gazing at the moon, #1 says ‘Is it true that a girl ate a pill and flew to the moon Mummy?’. Whilst this may be some people’s definition of going out clubbing, that is not the story.

Legend has it that one year many moons ago, the ten suns rose together causing devastation until Yi, an excellent archer shot down nine of them. He was worshipped as a hero which corrupted his good nature until he became cruel and tyrannical and demanded to live forever. He was given an elixir for immortality but his beautiful wife Chang’e stole it and drunk it herself to save the world from her power mad husband and floated off to the moon. With a rabbit. I’m not sure where the rabbit came from but apparently it’s there if you look at the moon closely enough you know.

There’s another version of the legend where he doesn’t become power mad and is rewarded with the elixir but his power mad apprentice tries to steal it instead until his beautiful wife Chang’e sacrifices herself and drinks it choosing to watch over her non power mad husband Yi from the moon. With a rabbit.

So then there after he and all the people join in with giving offerings on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month.

So when #1 asks outright if this story is true, be it any version you like, what can you possibly say? Because how can Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy be real if the beautiful lady who lives on the moon with the rabbit is not? Oh look, #1, let’s look at the pretty lanterns instead.

The design of mooncakes with the round yolk inside is to symbolise completeness and sharing them is about family unity. So if as my Dad, Mr Li says, I was quite happy eating a whole mooncake by myself it explains a lot about my contribution to family unity.

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One of the best things about living in Singapore is being able to embrace these fabulous Chinese customs and for #1, 2 and 3 to fully enjoy it too and be able to properly understand the traditions and not just eat the food that comes with it.

And what do you know, it’s a full moon in Hong Kong too.

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