early September onwards, Penang will be inundated with mooncakes, marking the
forthcoming Mid-Autumn Festival during the third week of September and this
year, 2015, it will fall on 27 September. This pretty festival will cause
twinkling lanterns to be lit, tasty mooncakes filled with every imaginable and
edible filling to be eaten, and spirits will be light, as well as playful. All
of which that will transform pockets of Penang into a glowing, ethereal venue.
Celebrated mainly by the Chinese community, this festival traditionally marks
the completion of the harvest period in autumn when crops were bountiful. In
Penang, this festival is also known as the Mooncake Festival.
Many, many moons ago, according to history, food was not in abundance in many places on Earth during spring when crops weren’t yet mature, fruits weren’t yet ripe, sources of protein were either skeletal or scarce and food that were stored for winter were running low. However, as spring fades into autumn, fruits ripened, the harvest was in and animals were fleshy. It became the period of time when food in all forms were, once again, in abundance. That was why, in most cultures around the world, autumn had always been the time for a festival or holiday that very much centred around food. And this tradition remains till today. The Mid-Autumn Festival, for the 21st century Chinese community is a form of thanksgiving, a symbolic gesture, for a good harvest reaped, making food available for the village for the winter months to come.