Not the famed Michael Jackson moonwalk, but rather a lantern walk on a full moon night. The Chinese will be celebrating their Mid-Autumn festival on 21st September. Eons ago, the Chinese believe that the moon on the 15th day of the eight month of the Chinese lunar calendar was the biggest and brightest. This was also the time for the Autumn harvests and families got together to light lanterns and eat moon cakes.
Today, the lanterns are taken for a walk under the watch of the full moon.
It is a difficult task choosing lanterns. There are infinite varieties in vibrant colours. The traditional ones come in folded paper, one just had to pull apart like an accordion, stick a candle in and viola ... all set for the lantern parade.
Then we have the intricate traditional ones made from wires twisted into animal shapes,
aeroplanes or whatever takes the maker's fancy. The wire frames are enveloped in transparent cellophane, painted to enhance the design and lastly tied to a bamboo stick.
In today's language these creations would be called "artisan lanterns!"
With the advance of technology, lanterns have also "evolved" to plastic ones
with an artificial light from a battery. The hearts above the seven dwarfs provide music.
The candles in the traditional lanterns have to be replaced frequently. These lanterns catch fire easily. We learnt how to relight our lanterns safely. Kids walked around with boxes of candles and matches in their pockets. We got some wax burns on our hands and that's about it. But this will be a huge NO, NO today! Kids DO NOT play with matches!!
Lantern gathering in the park.
And when we finally thought we had outgrown this silly MOON walk,
we started again with our own kids! I prefer these traditional cellophane lanterns. The colours just bounce off the cellophane and dance on the roads. These are also environmental friendly and can be recycled for another year.
The Mid-autumn festival and lantern parade under the full moon