Making A Pomelo Lantern - My Oldest & Fondest Mid-Autumn Tradition
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!
It is today, the 15th day of the eighth month in the Lunar calendar. This year it happens to fall on 1-Oct-2020, the same day as the Chinese National Day.
It is THE Re-union festival.
Tonight, the moon will be at its roundest shape, shining its fullest light. Borrowing the meaning of “roundest & fullest” in Chinese, Yuan Man-圆满，the Chinese family members are supposed to be all around with each other, paying tribute to the moon.
For me, the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most beautiful Chinese festivals.
It’s the time the Osmanthus Trees blossoming, on big and small streets. I love the smell of Osmanthus, sweet to the heart. They also have the tiniest yet the goldenest petals, when falling, the whole street is covered in golden colours.
And as Chinese, we utilizes almost anything into food. Honey osmanthus lotus root, osmanthus rice cake, etc, they are the sweetest food memories, literally the sweetest.
Sadly, I never smelled Osmanthus again in the Netherlands, or in Europe in general. If I’m staying here long enough, maybe I should plant an Osmanthus tree.
It’s also the time to enjoy the hairy crabs (da zha xie 大闸蟹). Chinese people absolutely love hairy crabs. Unlike the king crabs or brown crabs which are raised in the sea, the hairy crabs are native to the rivers and lakes. They are smaller in size, not much going on in the feet and claws, but the crab roes inside are divine.
Around mid-autumn festival, the hairy crabs are richest in crab roes, and there are many seasonal dishes featuring the precious crab roes.
Last but definitely not the least, it is the time when every Chinese will take a break from our lives, and look up in the sky. We are looking at the same moon. no matter how far apart.
Sweet osmanthus aroma lingering around noses, feasting in hairy crabs, admiring the beautiful moon, with family around. It is a 4D fantasy movie, to fully indulge in, during the mid-autumn festival.
My Current Mid-Autumn Festival
However, this is my 11th year NOT around my family, not in China, during this beautiful festival. So none of those beautiful memories above is applicable.
It’s important to stay connected with old rituals and have a sense of ceremony. So I assessed my options of the rituals:
- Eat some mooncakes! - I’m on a diet, need to lose some corona weight. - Then just watch the moon! - It’s raining day and night here in the Netherlands…
Wait, I can make a Pomelo Lantern!
When I was a small kid, my parents used to make it every year for me, as a toy. Back then, the kids don’t have ipads or tiktok, but we’ve got the DIY’s and gifts from nature.
I loved holding my little lantern, and running around in the woods with my cousins. But I’ve never made one myself.
So, challenge accepted!
Here is my attempt to make my own Pomelo lantern, pretty successful!
Lighting my lantern at this rainy night, in replace of the moonlight, I smell the scent of the pomelo around me. ❤️
Ha, isn’t it a happy mid-autumn festival?
Do you also want a pomelo lantern?
Then check my video below.
I promise it’s 100 times easier than pumpkin lanterns!
Cheers to you, and cheers to my family far far away.