Thursday, October 1, 2015

Day 73 - Zhongqui Jie: the Moonfest

Wikipedia knows it all: The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, on the night of the full moon between early September to early October of the Gregorian calendar.

Usually this full moon is the biggest one of the year because the moon is closest to the earth. This year, this full moon coincided with a lunar eclipse which could however not been seen here in Singapore. What happens on Moon fest: Kids carry lanterns, people eat moon cakes, it is a big family outdoor celebration.

Since we had booked tickets for a Chinese Opera performance at 5 PM, we decided to have late breakfast, pick up the tickets around 4 PM and have a late lunch afterwards.     

A good opportunity to check out Kaya Toast, another untried item on our 40-item food-to-try list. We got it, together with a "Teh C" (tea with milk and sugar), at the food stalls next to the Esplanade opera house. Kaya Toast are crispy roasted and very thin toast slices filled with butter cream, honey and kiwi fruit jam (if my taste buds are not kidding).

On the occasion of the Moon Fest, the Singapore opera house had scheduled two performances this weekend: Yesterday a complete Cantonese Opera (that we never heard of), and today a mix of six excerpts of different Cantonese operas, performed by Chinese artists from the Canton (Guangzhou) area. As newcomers that did not know exactly what to expect from a Cantonese opera (sorry), we decided for the 150 minute excerpt. Incredible how these participants have to be awesome in singing, acting and even have to have exceptional acrobatic skilled: in a fighting scene suddenly something appeared next to the one actor's head which was his own foot, wtf. The actors "greet" the audience at the beginning with numerous flicflacs over the entire stage. Or they do a backflip and jump directly into a split position, three times in a row. One actor played a dwarf and had to act and sing 15 minutes crouched down. Each ten minutes we were thrilled by another surprise. The ladies moved as if there were hovering. Parallel to acting and fight scenes, of course all actors had to sing professional opera music.

Inner view of the facade of the Esplanade opera house

The main concert hall from the highest floor. Heady hights...

with the moon
After the performance which was great with first grade Chinese opera actors (the women sang so terrifyingly high), we attended the Moon Fest in the Gardens-by-the-Bay together with other crowds.
Just in time for the Moon Fest walk, upon leaving the opera performance we got some "premium offers" (freebies) that included not only several coffee mix flavors from a sponsor, but also lanterns! - but no candles :-(

Outside there were several installations like live music and light shows, or theaters for those who weren't in the opera. Many people were walking around with lanterns.
In the Gardens-by-the-Bay, Chinese lantern artists had built up hundreds of life size (!!) lanterns: All the zodiacs with a birthday cake and a 50 (for the jubilee), dinosaurs that even moved, three dragon boats, two temples, many different jungle animals, etc. etc.
Fortunately, these expensive and artistic "lanterns" were not made from paper and lit by candles, but instead were made from a tin skeleton covered by colored fabric, and lit by LED lamps.

Photoshooting in a wonderful dress with a wonderful surreal background.

The walk over the bridge behind the dragon boat reminded me of the "milky way" in Japan (Day X)
PSI reading 200 (very unhealthy). Go away or I get mad, HAZE!

P.S. Unfortunately we did not try any Moon cake because it was quite expensive. Next time!

No comments:

Post a Comment