GEORGE TOWN, Sept 16 -- A colourful atmosphere is sighted at a dim sum restaurant in Lebuh Cintra here when it is decorated with over 2,000 glass paper lanterns to remind customers of the arrival of this year’s mooncake festival.
A Bernama check at the Tai Tiong Restaurant found that the lanterns decorated inside the restaurant featured animals and Chinese mythological creatures such as the Eastern dragon, phoenix and Qilin, as well as popular cartoon characters like Doraemon, Batman and Elsa from Frozen.
Restaurant director Pang Khek Seng said the unique seasonal decoration in the restaurant has been an ongoing tradition for the past 15 years.
He said the lanterns were priced between RM12 and RM45 each, while limited-edition lanterns which could gently rotate itself when the candle inside is lit were sold at RM128 per piece.
“Back then, parents would always bring their children to visit here and show them all these colourful lanterns and teach them about the significant roles of lanterns in the mooncake festival,” he said.
He said that all the lanterns sold here were crafted and supplied by local makers from villages all across Malaysia.
He also said that while modern lanterns are more like electronic toys, he insisted on keeping the mooncake festival lanterns old-school with glass paper and candles.
“It is getting rarer to see these sorts of traditionally-made lanterns elsewhere but we should preserve this tradition as it has always been an important cultural heritage for us,” he added.
Meanwhile, Pearly Kee, 63, brought along her husband Chandra Kumar, 70, to the restaurant to buy a few lanterns along with some mooncakes and Gong Zai Bing (doll biscuits).
The regular customer of the restaurant said she did not just come to the food premises for the food but also to buy the lanterns as part of her preparations for the mid-autumn festival.
“This year, we bought two lanterns for our two granddaughters, aged nine and one respectively as we want to teach them about our Chinese culture at a young age to pass down the tradition,” she said.
She said that the traditionally-made lanterns for the mooncake festival celebration have always been nostalgic for her and her husband and a reminiscence of how they used to enjoy them back when they were young.
“We hope that our future generations will enjoy just as much fun from this cultural tradition and celebration,” she added.
The mooncake festival or the mid-autumn festival falls under the 15th day of every eighth month in the lunar calendar.
This year’s mooncake festival falls on Oct 1.
Malaysian National News Agency
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