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September 22, 2010

Mooncake Festival: Lantern Play

Mooncake Festival: Lantern Play

These days, high-tech lanterns that come with dazzling lights, special sound effects and other mind-blowing enhancements are the de facto lanterns for kids.

In my childhood days, I used to play with candles, fire and lanterns made of flimsy paper and sticks. The initial set up required moments of careful preparation. We had to unfold lanterns, set them up in the right configuration before inserting candles on their place holders.

The best part was to start a fire using matchsticks. In the outdoors, a slight breeze could easily extinguish the flame. One wrong tilt and the precious lantern would go up in flames.

At the customary procession round the neighbourhood, more challenges stood in our way. A rough nudge by a friendly neighbour and the lantern would crumble in a heap of fire. If you shifted your wrist at the wrong pace, the tilt would also threaten the continued existence of your lantern. The occasional drip of hot wax onto bare feet exposed by slippers was also a hazard that had to be expected.

So it was with much enthusiasm that I brought my youngest kid out for a lantern parade during this mooncake festival. Besides enjoying the taste of green tea with mooncakes, we spent some time on lantern play.

Photograph of A Lantern

Did you spend time with your family during the mooncake festival for some lantern play?

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