Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Carrying Lanterns during Mid Autumn Festival

For this year, the Chinese will celebrate Zhong Qiu Jie or Mid Autumn Festival falls on 3rd of October. Children look forward to this day because they have a chance to carry lanterns around their houses.

Nowadays, lanterns have revolutionised until they do not look like the one I used to carry when I was a child. Now on sale are lanterns made of plastic materials with motors to animate the so-called lanterns which appear in the form of cars, Ultraman, dogs and other animals. All these also come with melodious music built into chips are attached to the lanterns

When I was a child, I carried various types of lantern. One of them was the one made from coloured paper. It was made of thin iron twisted into the shape of a rabbit, fish or cock. Each of these were covered with plastic paper and painted with colours befitting the animals. Candles were lit inside each of these lantern and we had to be careful when carrying it so as not to burn our prized things.

I even ventured to make lantern out of an empty tin-coated can which was used to contain condensed milk. Vertical slits were cut on the side of the can and pressed so that it looked a big onion. Then I would light a candle in the middle of it and tie a metal thin thread to it for carrying. This gadget was safer as I would not have to worry about burning it because it was made of metal!

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