Mid Autumn Festival,
The overseas Chinese in Yangon is getting ready to celebrate Mid Autumn Festival 2009. The Chinese pastry shops are decorated and stocked with every possible type of moon cakes and moon biscuits.
Apart from these pastry shops, supermarkets and almost every shop and store that offers food also sells moon cakes and moon biscuits. Even international hotels in Yangon have put up billboards and posters to promote their moon cakes.
Most of the moon cakes in Yangon Chinatown are baked ones. The snow skin and ice cream moon cakes are not available probably because of its refrigeration requirements.
But even without the snow skin and ice cream moon cakes, consumers have no lack of choices. The standard bean paste and lotus paste moon cakes are available in almost every shop and for consumers who want something special, options include pineapple, musk melon, durian, and even mango paste moon cakes!
The moon cakes are bought as gifts and presented ahead of the Mid Autumn Festival to family, friends and business associates.
If the exchange of moon cakes is an adult affair, then the lanterns and mascot moon cakes that appear together as moon cakes are children’s affair.
Many shops and stores display both traditional and cartoon inspired lanterns to catch children’s attention. Ultra man, Hello Kitty and Spiderman lanterns vie for attention alongside lanterns with traditional motifs. These lanterns add a variety of color to Yangon Chinatown and help create the Mid Autumn ambience.
Meanwhile, mascot moon biscuits are on display at pastry shops and stores offering the young customers a wide variety of choices.
The most interesting mascot moon cake in Yangon Chinatown is one in the shape of a piston. This mascot moon biscuit design cannot be found in most Chinatowns!
Moon cakes, mascot moon biscuits and lanterns, modern or traditional style, help usher in the Mid Autumn Festival. The food, the games and the story telling during the celebration all play their part in the transmission of cultural values from one generation to the next and keep alive the Chinese identity among Overseas Chinese in Myanmar.
Event date: 22 September 2009, Tuesday
3rd day of the 8th lunar month, year of the ox