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lanterns, cakes and glorious revolution?

Some say that this date marks the end of the fall harvesting season. Some tell of the legend of two star-crossed lovers, separated for eternity and destined to meet only once a year on this date. Others, however, weave a tale of bloody revolution against the Mongol rulers of the past, made possible by spreading the news with slips of paper baked into pastries. Whatever the origin of the festival might be, there are two things that everyone can agree on - lanterns are fun, and mooncakes are delicious. Yep, it's the Mid-Autumn Festival!

Also known as the Lantern Festival or the Mooncake Festival, revellers around the world commemorate the 15th day of the 8th lunar month by - you guessed it - lighting lanterns and eating mooncakes! And here in Chinatown Singapore, we celebrate the festival in a way that's bigger and bolder than anyone else… with a district-wide party!

Organised by the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens' Consultative Committee and supported by various governmental and non-profit organisations, the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival is a festive bonanza organised annually to commemorate the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Beginning with the Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony on 30 August 2011, you'll find vibrant and enchanting street light-up displays, nightly stage shows, and a festive street bazaar that spans the month, with celebrations coming to a grand end with a Mass Lantern Walk on 10 September.

This year's Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival will also see the launch of three festive competitions - the Singapore Iconic Lantern Competition, where participants are called on to develop an iconic lantern that will be used to represent Singapore at overseas and international events; the first-ever Lantern Painting Competition, where families and children are invited to get creative with lanterns and paint; and the I Am A Bazaar King Competition, a contest for budding entrepreneurs with brilliant business ideas to kickstart their enterprise. For more information on the 2011 Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival, check out our video coverage of the Lantern Painting Competition here, or visit their official website.

Competitions aside, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also a time for families and friends to gather and spend time with one another, chatting, laughing and enjoying one another's company over tasty mooncakes, succulent and refreshing pomelos, and light and cleansing chinese tea, while the streets fill up with colourful lanterns - an activity enjoyed by children and young adults every Mid-Autumn. In fact, Chinatown's Mass Lantern Walk is attended by thousands every year!

With food, fun and festivities galore, it's no wonder Chinatown is the place to be to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival!

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