(8 to 12 Sept 2003)

Sonya Sherman - Canberra, Oz

The Mid-Autumn Festival is held in the 8th month of the Chinese lunar year, when the full moon appears at its biggest and brightest. It is a time to be thankful and to celebrate with family and friends, as the moon is a symbol of harmony, luck and prosperity. This is an important occasion, marked by Chinese communities around the world. In Singapore the festival is preceded by two weeks of special events, and bunkies from The InnCrowd were keen to be involved.

Traditionally, children carry colourful paper lanterns in processions, to pay honour and respect to the moon. About 20 of us gathered at the hostel, then set off through the streets of Little India bearing lanterns of all sizes and shapes. Some lanterns looked like animals (a rabbit, a snail, a fish), others like children or the sun. Some were shaped like regular Chinese lanterns - brightly patterned boxes with eyecatching paper circles dangling and swaying in the breeze.

We must have made a crazy sight, trying to flag down a bunch of taxis on the main street. Somehow, Hai and Ping managed to convince the drivers to take us to MacRitchie Reservoir. It was a beautiful walk. Behind us, the lights of skyscrapers twinkled in the distance. The way ahead was lit only by our curious and comical lanterns, as the procession moved like a caterpillar through a maze of bridges and walkways over the water.

Eventually we reached a small pavillion on the edge of the reservoir, where we stopped for a break and a short talk on the history and traditions of the Mid-Autumn Festival (by moi!). As a harvest festival, the main objective is to make the moon as big and round and bright as possible. This will ensure abundance and good luck for the coming season. It was quite cloudy that night. However, after lots of whooping, shouting and lantern-waving, The InnCrowd cleared the skies and the moon shone through!

Mission accomplished, we set off for an adventure through the rainforest. Apparently Singapore is the only place in the world with a rainforest in the centre of the city! It was peaceful and magical, especially the vision of our procession reflecting in the water. By this stage, the candles were burning low and the lanterns barely lit the path beneath our feet. For a bonding experience, there is nothing quite like creeping through the inky blackness of a forest at night. The silence was only broken by the buzz of cicadas and the rustling of monkeys in the trees! We started getting nervous but Hai convinced us to stand still long enough to capture the moment on film. Thanks Hai!

As a reward for our bravery, we were treated to the best part of Mid-Autumn Festival - the sharing of mooncakes. These are small round pastries with sweet fillings of red bean or lotus seed paste. Mmmmmmm, delicious. We then posed for a few more great pictures before heading home. There were many other exciting Mid-Autumn festivities still to come... 

Sonya Sherman -12 September 2003

A festival traditionally celebrated by the locals.


Steve's smiling cos Hai's not driving.

Good weather, good food,
good fun.

The Irish Contingent
(Pest Control Division...).

Wilma, Steve, Sonya & Phil.

Cavenagh Bridge.


Phil, Sonya, Steve and Wilma.

Chinatown with Kev, Therese and Reg.

Carine, Claire, Scott, Rodrigo and Yash.

It's Newton Again!

Vegging at The InnCrowd's fave Veg Restaurant - Arya Veg.
Steve, Rob, Wilma, Therese, Yash and Kev.

Vernon, Lucia, Amit and Jill.

Celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival at MacRitchie Reservoir.

Ida, Therese and Ultimate Rob.

Making lots of noise so the full moon would show up!

Taking a breather at
a sweet lil' pavillion.

Sonya tells all about the moony festival.

Reflections in the rainforest.

Gong Fu Masters.

Phil, Sonya, Therese, Steve and Wilma.

Carine, Jill, Rodrigo, Kev and Yash.

Martin, Deirdre, Patricia and Eimear.

Phil and Sonya.
Mike, Therese and Wilma.

Copyright 2002-2003 The InnCrowd. All Rights Reserved.

The Mid-Autumn Festival, Moon cake Festival.