The Mid-Autumn Festival is a popular observance in Singapore amongst those of ethnic Chinese heritage. It is not a public holiday, but malls nevertheless decorate and sell special food items at this time of year. Here and in other countries, this day is also known as Mid-Autumn Festival.
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The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, on a full moon day. This is always in mid-fall, sometime in later September or early October.
Moon cakes are the food of choice on this holiday. These cakes are filled with sweet-tasting bean paste or with lotus seeds or another filling. Originally, the Festival was closely connected with making offerings to the moon god to get a bountiful harvest. Today, most are not moon worshipers, but the cake is still shaped as a moon for that reason.
In Singapore, many families go out to see the various Chinese lantern and other lights displays at night during the festival. Kids love Mid-Autumn Festival because they not only get to eat tasty moon cakes, but also they get to hold the strings of floating, fully lit lanterns as they walk about town with their parents.
Traditionally, lanterns were lit with wax candles and constructed of colourful Chinese paper. But today you will also see make-shift lanterns made of cellophane bags and hangar wires and store-bought versions lit by battery power and shaped like popular cartoon characters.