THE Mid-Autumn festive mood is already here in Penang!
Colourful lanterns are being displayed and the sweet aroma of mooncakes fills the air in George Town.
Renowned dim sum restaurant, Tai Tong Restaurant, has put up some 4,000 colourful lanterns at its restaurant since the first week of the seventh Lunar month.
Restaurant manager Lee Hui Ling, 33, said the lanterns attracted many diners and tourists.
“Most of our customers who purchase lanterns are from Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore.
“These lanterns will be displayed and sold until the 20th day of the eighth Lunar month, while stocks last. We have sold about 800 lanterns so far,” she told Buletin Mutiara when interviewed today. Tai Tong Restaurant is located on Cintra Street.
Lee said it has been a practice by the restaurant for over 10 years to display and sell lanterns during the Mid-Autumn Festival period.
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival, is a popular Chinese traditional celebration. It is observed on the 15th day of the eighth Lunar month. This year, the festival falls on Sept 29.
Lee said the restaurant sourced their lanterns from Kuala Lumpur, Teluk Intan, and Ipoh.
“Our lantern stocks have reduced over the years because the younger generation is reluctant to take up the trade,” she added.
She also highlighted the restaurant’s limited-edition lanterns which are being sold at the restaurant. Each set comprises the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.
“We only have 12 sets this year, and each set is sold for RM188. We have sold seven sets so far.
“This is the second year we are selling the limited-edition Chinese zodiac lanterns,” Lee said.
Just a stone’s throw away from Tai Tong Restaurant, the tantalising aroma of mooncakes was making heads turn and attracting visitors to Ng Kee Cake Shop.
This over 120-year-old biscuit and cake shop has been offering handmade biscuits and mooncakes for generations.
Fourth-generation Joyee Loh, 27, said the shop has started receiving orders from customers.
“Usually, my mother will start preparing the mooncake ingredients at 4am. Together with my father and staff, they make the mooncakes until about 9pm daily,” she said.
Spotted at the shop were its best-seller Mango Jackpot mooncakes, shaped like gold ingots.
Meanwhile, some decorations have been set up at the shopping malls.
Over at Queensbay Mall, Chinese lanterns, rabbit statuettes, trees with radiant fall colours, and colourful flowers draw shutterbugs to the Lower Ground floor of the mall.
Shoppers were also spoilt for choice, thanks to the variety of mooncakes sold at the mall.
Mid-Autumn Festival decorations at the new wing of Gurney Plaza have also been installed, while lanterns were sold at Jaya Grocer in Gurney Paragon Mall.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Siew Chia En and Christopher Tan