Not a fan of lanterns or mooncakes? Here are 5 other ways you can commemorate the Mid-Autumn
Celebrating the Mooncake Festival by eating mooncakes? How creative!
inSing dives into the heart and history of the festival to find more than double-yolks and snowskin, and suggests some alternative ways to commemorate the Mid-Autumn Festival hopefully more befitting to the epic legends that gave birth to it.
According to ancient legend, the first Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival was when Chang’e flew to the moon, where she lives to this day, inspiring people to gaze up in search of her.
While she took an elixir of immortality to attain lunar lift-off, you can explore the moonscape and more for just a token entrance fee at our very own Singapore Science Centre.
Its Space Science exhibition not only lets you find out about moonside escapades such as Neil Armstrong's, but you can try your hand at controlling the first ever NASA rover landed on Mars, the Mars Pathfinder.
Return after closing time to join in their free stargazing (or as you wish, moongazing) sessions on Friday evenings at the state-of-the-art Observatory with painfully powerful telescopes may to try and locate Chang’e on the lunar surface.
Open daily, 10am-6pm, Singapore Science Centre. Admission prices: $6 for resident children and $10 for resident adults, for non-residents, $8 and $12 respectively. Free stargazing sessions, 7.50-10pm, The Observatory, Omni-Theatre Building at the Singapore Science Centre.(6425-2500 or www.science.edu.sg)
Legend also tells us that Chang e's husband Hou Yi was an archer who shot down nine of ten rogue suns burning up the Earth.
His feat earned the pill of immortality from the Gods for leaving just the one friendly (though still sometimes pretty violent) sun that we know and generally love today.
Feel pretty godly yourself by taking up archery at the name-appropriate Flaming Arrows Archery Club.
The club not only teaches students how to point and shoot the Hou Yi way (though try not to aim at the sun because you'll hurt your eyes), but also sells a range of bows and equipment for you to get started.
Open various days, times and prices. FAAC Archery Range, next to Teck Whye Secondary School. Contact George at 9383-6113 or visit www.faac.sg.
|The complete guide to mooncakes 2012|
Lucky for Chang’e, she's not totally alone, legend has it that a Jade Rabbit lives on the moon, and in some versions pounding herbs for an elixir to send Chang'e home. In others, the rabbit is just billed as cute company.
While our Earth rabbits can't make medicines, they have calming aww-inducing properties to be just as good company as their lunar counterpart. Unfortunately, humans aren't as good companions, rabbits are often abandoned in public areas to fend for themselves when their owners get tired of them.
If you'd like to help, the House Rabbit Society of Singapore finds, rescues and fosters abandoned bunnies till they are adopted again. You can help by fostering a rabbit for a period of time, which the society will help you to do by providing guidance and some equipment and expenses. Make a donation, or even adopt a bunny and give it a second chance at a forever home - the Jade Rabbit would be so pleased!
Visit www.hrss.net or https://www.facebook.com/pages/House-Rabbit-Society-Singapore-HRSS/171689892870850 for more information.
Message in a Mooncake
Because one legend is never enough, it is believed that during the Yuan Dynasty the Han people overthrew their Mongolian conquerors by distributing mooncakes – which Mongolians did not generally eat – with a secret message hidden inside saying, “Kill the Mongols on the 15th day of the 8th Lunar Month”.
Resurrect the tale by making your own secret message mooncakes for unsuspecting friends, partners or crushes, though maybe yours shouldn't say “kill our overlords” unless you want to get in serious trouble with the ISA.
Try writing your messages in non-toxic ink on slips of grease-proof paper, which you can insert into your mooncake filling before it's wrapped in dough. Just make sure they're large enough strips so they're not accidentally swallowed!
Just add a message to these recipes: http://food.insing.com/recipe/shanghai-mooncake-recipe/id-227c2300 or http://food.insing.com/recipe/dragon-fruit-crystal-skin-mooncake-recipe/id-a37c2300
Let your high be from Sugar
Actually, the Chang'e legend might be one of the earliest cautionary tales against drug abuse.
A curious woman eats a pill that (literally) gets her too high and seeing stars, and finally forever alienated (also literally) from home, husband and humanity.
In her memory, if you're thinking of partying off the mooncake weight, opt for the clubs and activities taking part in the Clubs Against Drugs Campaign 2012, at www.facebook.com/clubbingwithoutdrugs, happening in from 19 October onwards, just shortly after the Mooncake Festival.
Look out for DJ Dathe, the main man of the campaign who'll be out and about... he'll be the one dressed as the Grim Reaper, complete with scythe. Take some photos with him, pledge to club without drugs, and you might stand to win some pictures.
19-21 Oct and 24-27 Oct. Various times at various venues including The Butter Factory, Helipad, St James Pte Ltd and Timbre. Visit www.facebook.com/clubbingwithoutdrugs for more information.
Jo Tan is a professional freelancer whose cv includes wedding singing and selling fish. She actually likes salads and tofu, and doesn't eat chicken because she had two as pets (their names were Bubbles and Joveranter Cat.) However, she is not a hippie because she is bad at yoga and like most of Singapore, expects to slave her whole life to pay for her new HDB flat.