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Poem by Clarissa Lee 2D/20

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

Yearly reunions,

Backgrounds filled with laughter and shouts.

We eat mooncakes, from baked to snow,

With salted egg yolks and white lotus paste,

Sharing slices at the dinner table,

The filling warmth in our stomachs and hearts.

The paper lanterns that we all know so well,

I remember chasing in the dark after my cousins,

With the warmth of melting candles that slowly burn out.

Sometimes we see kids crying on the sidewalk, their candles accidentally tipped,

And their lanterns blacked out.

Sometimes then we would share the light,

And make a new friend in the midst of the joy.

Some years our school held events,

For that special festival,

With mid autumn riddles and guessing games,

And sneaking off to find the precious sweet desserts.

The mass walks along the river,

As we remind ourselves of what we hold dear.

And as we grow these traditions won’t fade.

Even as we get busy, our hearts stay the same.

The memories inscribed in our brains,

As we always cut the mooncake into four,

On 15 September of every year.


What was one thing you learned about your culture that you did not know before from interviewing your family member and/or consulting secondary resources? ● What were you trying to convey in your short story or poem? How did you try to convey it (e.g. use of images, literary devices etc)?

I learnt how they used to celebrate the mid autumn festival e.g. with traditional paper lanterns instead of the battery powered ones used nowadays and also the strong sense of community and family that was brought about through mid autumn festival by asking my grandma about her experiences. She also shared that they would often gather around the table and split the mooncakes and share them as a family, and sometimes they would cry if their lanterns got burnt. To us as a family, it was more than a festival of remembrance, but it was also an excellent time to get together as a family and create more memories together. I tried to blend the old with the new such as by using her experiences (burnt lanterns and chasing after cousins) and also my own experiences (the mass gathering of children in school) to show the true beauty and sense of togetherness this cultural event has brought about in us and how we should treasure it.

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