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October 8, 2009

Lantern Festival @Mersing



Malaysia / Mersing

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This year’s post on Mid-Autumn Festival: No more pictures of moon cakes; I grew tired of them. They are high calorie, high sugar, unhealthy, and don’t come cheap!  At least I save some calories for other sinful food. :D

OK! Brought back some pics and a video clip from Mersing as we spent the occasion over the weekend in Malaysia. You know, Mersing is a very small coastal town and it’s popularly known as the gateway to Tioman island and other exotic islands off the east shore of West Malaysia.

Here is a short video clip of families and friends walking in the lantern parade together with some performers on decorated vehicles. The lantern parade was privately organised by an established temple in Mersing.

Nowadays, at least in Singapore, most kids carry different shapes and sizes of lanterns that are battery operated. So it’s really nice to see traditional kind of paper lanterns lit with candles. As a kid, I like lanterns with candles ‘cos I like to play with fire. -_-||| And it hurt when hot wax dripped on my hands… And disappointments over burnt lanterns…
mersing-lantern-walk

The legendary Chang’e and her companions on the Moon – the jade rabbit that manufactured elixirs and the woodcutter Wu Gang who was banished to the Moon.

chang-e-rabbit-moon-festival

Little Chang’e scattering flower petals down the road during the parade.

mersing-lantern-festival-parade

On the same night as the Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋节 (aka Moon Festival or Lantern Festival or Mooncake Festival..phew!), the folks were also celebrating “Tua Pek Kong 大伯公” God Festival. You will see this old yet colourful Chinese temple known as Hock Soon Temple at the entrance of Mersing town.

mersing-hock-soon-temple

A life-size paper boat that, I supposed, would be burnt as an offering for prayer. Typically, you’ll see lucky numbers on offerings during such an occasion… 6618, huat ah! LOL

chinese-paper-boat-offering

chinese-paper-god

The man was cutting up a big roasted pig and later distributed the meat and other food to the devotees. Mind you, each kind of food on the table has prosperous meaning to the Chinese OK! As usual… ;)

chinese-roast-pork

Ceremonial food offerings laid out on the altars.

tua-pek-gong-offering-temple

Next, we adjourned to a hall next to the temple for a singing concert. Don’t expect it to be like the F1 Rocks Concert! Nevertheless, it was good entertainment on the Lantern Festival night in this quaint little town. BUT! Jacky suddenly popped out a question,”The Hungry Ghost month is over, isn’t it?” During the Hungry Ghost month, there are “Getai” (make-shift stage built for performances) everywhere and it’s a tradition that the front rows are reserved for the spirits… eeee… so do you see that the front rows were empty below? No, I didn’t sit on the reserved seat!

mersing-mid-autumn-festival-performance-stage

One of the singers with a sexy fancy outfit.

kuantan-lantern-festival

A typical scene of the rustic fishing town, with many fishing boats lining along the river under the blue sky. Unfortunately, trash is also floating around the river. Spot the largest trash. It’s fuming!

mersing-fishing-boat

Picturesque. If only I could paint.

mersing-blue-sky

There are many pondok (Malay word for such a structure) along the roadside. Btw, these photos were taken from Pasaraya Kini (supermarket) near the bus terminal in Mersing town.

mersing-malay-shelter-house

Where to eat in Mersing? We always go to this coffee shop “Restoran Al Hamid” for the Cendol, which is a shaved ice dessert with coconut milk, green starch noodles with pandan leaf flavour, soft red beans and palm sugar. It’s said to have the best Cendol in town. Also, you can try their Roti Canai (aka Roti Prata in Singapore). The Roti Canai is not oily at all yet it’s crisp on the outside. Usually, I will ask for fish curry as it’s less oily. This coffee shop is located along Jalan Dato Mohd Ali, opposite the yellow/orange Mersing Hotel.

mersing-cendol

Public buses at the terminal. Many years ago, I ever boarded a similar non air-con public bus and stood all the way for 2hrs to Mersing. Not a comfortable ride as some inconsiderate passengers were smoking on board. :S Hopefully things get better now. Anyway there was free flow of music as some youngsters were playing guitars on the bus.

malaysia-old-public-bus

That’s a sumptuous home cooked meal!

chinese-reunion-dinner-lantern-festival

You may be interested to visit Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore 2008

10 Comments Leave your comment

  • Bakeling said on October 8, 2009 12:48 am

    It really full of the festive mood in Mersing ! It’s been a long time not seeing a lot of children carrying lanterns around.

    It’s midnite now and I feel hungry to look at the whole table of food !

    祝你 :中秋快乐 !

  • Borneo Falcon said on October 8, 2009 9:19 am

    This year I carried lanterns with my wife. He….He….

  • Chee Wei said on October 8, 2009 11:15 am

    hey long time no see… not bad eh u went to m’sia to celebrate mid autumn fest. By the way, will be in sg this weekend wanna meet up?

  • eunice said on October 8, 2009 4:25 pm

    @Bakeling: yep! nowadays it’s hard to see so many kids carrying lanterns around in cities. Kids play computer games now. LOL

    @Borneo Falcon: haha sooo romantic!!!

    @Chee Wei: already pm u in FB

  • Chee Wei said on October 8, 2009 8:35 pm

    hey eunice… didn’t get any PM from u…i’ll drop u a msg then…

  • peteformation said on October 9, 2009 1:24 pm

    Nice roast pork…yum yum.

  • Malaysia-Asia said on October 11, 2009 2:06 am

    Wow, I like that old town charm feel with the lantern festival. Locals mingling, people real and joyful moods. Something you will never find in the bigger cities these days. Thanks for sharing this.

    Regards,
    David
    Malaysia Asia

  • Janit said on October 12, 2009 4:38 pm

    Thats a sumptous feast spread out…delicious…

  • eunice said on October 14, 2009 12:19 pm

    @peteformation: hey it’s really yummy!

    @Malaysia-Asia: ya I don’t see this in cities like SG…

    @Janit: yes! very!

  • heidi said on October 22, 2009 1:48 pm

    That sounds like a wonderful lantern festival. In my hometown we have a little lantern festival too, but it’s nothing compare to this festival.

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