Wednesday, October 7, 2015

mid-autumn festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated by the Chinese in September and/or October with the main celebration day on the day of the full moon. This year that was September 27th. After Church we headed down to Chinatown to check out the festival and see what it was all about. It involved quite a lot of waiting around and trying to figure out if we were even in the right place.

Tatum saw this wall in the MRT and asked us to take a picture of her in front of it. I think we might take too many pictures and it's beginning to rub off. ;)


Chinatown was all decked out for the festival. Including this large, colorful merlion.

We saw this dragon before the lantern walk or any of the performances began. We were really excited to see the performance that involved the dragon but somehow we never got to see it! Bummer.
As we waited (And waited. And then waited some more.) a radio station was doing a scavenger hunt with some teams. One of things they had to do was find a foreigner and have them read a sentence in Chinese. Apparently we were the only white people around because we got asked to do it several times. And I'm pretty sure we butchered the Chinese.  Here's Brennan taking his turn.
We saw some friends from our ward (church congregation) who were nice enough to give us their extra lanterns for the kids to use in the lantern walk.
While we waited for the lantern walk to begin Declan had a balloon sword fight with this man. And then he tempted our children over to him with suckers. Anywhere else and that might have been concerning haha. Our kids always get so much candy given to them in Chinatown.
The lantern walk wasn't quite as cool as I was hoping it would be. It seemed a little chaotic and unorganized and we didn't really have any idea what was going on.
The beginning of the walk was cool with all of these red lanterns above us.

But then those stopped and we were just walking along the road and there didn't seem to be much to it.
There were some men on stilts though. :)

The walk seemed to fall apart shortly after the men on stilts. We found our way back to where we had been doing most of our waiting, where all the performers had been getting ready. If you had a lantern you got to go inside the fence that was surrounding all the performers. Sadly, traffic only moved one direction and the dragon dance was going on right then. By the time we made it all the way around it was over. :(
These girls had dresses made out of things like Milo packets. Interesting.
You can see that Tatum is making sure to keep an eye on this blow up soldier man.
And if you look closely in this next one you might be able to tell she is scared to death. In fact, she screamed bloody murder as he leaned toward her. The whole crowd went silent and then laughed. I wish I could have caught it on video. As Brennan tried to walk by him he did it to her again. Funny the first time, kind of rude the second! Come on, man! She screamed again and everyone got a good laugh.
There's the rude man who gets a kick out of scaring little girls. ;)
No words. I'm not sure I entirely understand this festival.
Some performers.
It was so hot and we were all so sweat. We couldn't even get Tatum to smile for a picture. She was over it all.

So over it.

This guy fell asleep on my back at some point. But then when he wakes up he screams until you get him out of the carrier. It becomes a mad scramble to get him out so people will stop staring at you haha.
With sweaty backs (mine from Declan, Brennan's from the backpack) we headed home on the train. We were glad we went, it's just one of those things we would be sad to miss while we are here. But I can't say we are too sad we won't be going back.
I thought it was hilarious that Brennan's sweat was in the shape of the backpack straps. Disgusting I know, but we had to document the ridiculous amount of sweat at least once. Some day I will have forgotten just how sweaty it was here. And these nasty pictures will help me remember. :)

The kids shared a seat right next to this Indian boy. Poor kid. Our kids should be small enough to share a seat but they are so dang squirmy that they kept hitting him and bumping into him and just being crazy. He was mostly a good sport even though he looks totally unhappy.


On our walk home from the train we ran into our neighbors/friends from Beijing who shared another lantern with us and some mooncakes. It was our first taste of a mooncake. And hopefully our last. :)

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

1 comment:

  1. Ugh. That humidity is real! This festival looks crazy and confusing. Glad you went though. If you hadn't experienced it, you would have gone home regretting it. Declan sword fighting with that dude is the best. And you guys being "the only white people around" made me laugh.