On Saturday September 14th, 25 SFYAD members and friends gathered to celebrate this year's Mid-Autumn Festival by making mooncakes together, having potluck, singing karaoke, playing boardgames, and most importantly, reflecting on what reunion means to us.
We started out working together to make various kinds of snow skin mooncakes- red bean chestnut, mung bean, and custard. Steaming the fillings and dough ingredients created many thick, sticky mixtures which required several different people to take turns mixing. We proceeded to prepare the mooncakes together in a very concentrated zen-like state, stuffing the fillings and pressing the mooncakes into pretty, decorative shapes with various moon cake molds.
Members brought a multitude of delicious vegetarian dishes and we had a feast fit for the harvest festival. After a break for everyone to sing karaoke to their heart’s content and play games, it was finally time to try the mooncakes we worked so hard on. Although none of us had ever attempted to make mooncakes before, we somehow managed, through teamwork and a lot of trial and error, to create a tasty and aesthetically pleasing final product. Biting into the mooncake was like biting into a cloud of bouncy, mochi-like skin and soft sweet filling. We also enjoyed a variety of more traditional mooncakes that different members brought over.
Towards the end, we watched a video on folklore and traditions associated with the Mid-Autumn Festival. The video explained that part of the meaning of the Mid-Autumn Festival is that it occurs on the day when the moon is thought to be the brightest and roundest, symbolizing reunion, so the festival is a time of gathering and reunion. Afterwards, we reflected on what reunion means to us, who we would like to reunite with, and why we want to reunite with them. Selene and Sherry both shared how their immediate family members are all in different countries, and whenever two family members get together it’s a reunion, no matter if they’re just hanging out, going shopping, or having a meal together.
Selene brought up the theory that a person most resembles the five people he or she spends the most time with. After reflecting on the five people we spend the most time with and comparing that to the top five people we want to spend time with, most of us realized that the five people we spend the most time with were our coworkers and bosses, and some members expressed that they would like to spend more time with family and friends. We then discussed ways we can be more mindful of the people we spend time with. Selene also mentioned that we should appreciate all the times we reunite with all the groups of people that we do reunite with because not all groups reunite and it is not easy for all of us to be together at the same place and time. It made us think of how we were all gathered there for a reason and that it was a very special occasion that we could all reunite like this. Qianjun and Amanda mentioned how they appreciate that they’re spending Mid-Autumn Festival with their friends, who are like their family away from home.
Then it was time to surprise two members —Qiuin and Amanda, for their birthday, bringing out the birthday cake and singing happy birthday. To top off the festivities, we all enjoyed the pandan and coconut mille crêpe cake. We thank Qiulin for graciously offering to host the event and are sorry for scaring her cat with all the noise.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!