We happened to be in Singapore for the Moon Festival, which is not as huge of a celebration in the States, or I’ve just been ignorant of it my entire life. The Moon Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated by the Chinese and Vietnamese and lands on the 15th day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar. It lands on the date of the autumnal equinox when the moon is at its fattest and roundest and signifies that everyone should be the same by eating lots of dumplings and mooncakes.
Oh, the mooncake! There are many varieties of mooncakes, the most popular of late are similar to mochi and made of rice flour. The flavor profiles are endless and include durian, lychee, green tea, mango, etc. The traditional mooncakes are made of regular flour and contain 1 or 2 bright yellow egg yolks inside to again symbolize the moon. Pomelos are also eaten during the harvest. I think anything fat and round will do.
Additionally, there are lanterns hanging all over the city, on towers, on bridges, on water, on bamboo, anywhere you can manage.
Many also burn incense in reverence to the deities.
Here’s what we ate:
These beautiful creatures are bamboo clams, more commonly known stateside as razor clams. The price reflects the amount of meat you actually get and satisfies people like me who get irrationally angry at tiny clams for only containing pearl sized nuggets of meat that seem to disappear down my throat too quickly. These were steamed open, doused with plenty of soy and fish sauce, and had transparent sweet potato noodles lovingly draped over them speckled with scallions and bits of garlic. I love thee, razor clam. May I someday go dive for a bucket of you and steam you open myself.
Best dim sum roadside stand ever. I can’t begin to describe the comfort I felt when biting into the fluffiest of bao stuffed with the treasures of perfectly barbecued pork. The siomay and harkao were also scrumptious.
Why did I fall in love with Singapore? I leave you with this image to ponder.