Lanterns lit up Mid-Autumn festival in Malaysia’s capital

KUALA LUMPUR: In a hidden alleyway in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, colorful lanterns and calm music create a “moon like” atmosphere ahead of the traditional Mid-Autumn festival.
The center piece of the display during the important festival when Chinese celebrate family reunion are eight lanterns featuring jade rabbit which exist on the moon in Chinese mythology.
Zeen Chang, one of a group of enthusiasts rejuvenating the alley, said the Mid-Autumn festive decoration and exhibit were uniquely Malaysian with Chinese characteristics, with the artists expressing their art in recognition of Chinese culture.
Drawing attention to one of the eight rabbit lanterns, Chang said artist Farah Mohan had researched the Chinese mythology, incorporating elements of the story into her work.
On the ears of the rabbit lantern, the artist depicted the story of Chinese moon goddess Chang’e, who flied to the moon and live there with the companion of the jade rabbit.
“We inter-learn about each other’s culture. So when I told her about this project, she was excited but nervous at the same time, because she doesn’t know any about the Mid-Autumn festival. Then she studied about Mid-Autumn Festival and she came up with the idea of showing the story of how the rabbit got its title as the jade rabbit,” Chang told Xinhua.
Siow Ho Phiew, maker of another rabbit lantern, said he drew inspiration from Malaysia’s traditional Batik technique, where wax is applied to the portions of the cloth that will be left undyed in making his work.
“I did it with the intention to mix Malaysian and Chinese culture together,” he said.
The alley, known as Kwai Chai Hong (Little Ghost Road in the Cantonese), has been open to the public as an accessible and faithful recreation of the look it had decades ago when it was a point of congregation for the local Chinese community.–Agencies