GEORGE TOWN: A dim sum restaurant has been drawing tourists and children alike thanks to multi-coloured and shaped lanterns.
With the Mid-Autumn Festival falling on next Monday, Tai Tong Restaurant in Cintra Street has been decorated with traditional tang long (Chinese lanterns).
Owner Pang Khek Seng, 52, said they have been selling lanterns for over 20 years.
“When I took over the business in 2016 from the previous owners, this was a tradition I wanted to retain.
“We do sell some battery-operated lanterns but we concentrate on the traditional ones with candles.
“These lanterns are special as you cannot find them outside of Malaysia.
“We usually order over 1,000 lanterns in various sizes and patterns. The lanterns are usually made here and in Perak.
“We place our orders as early as a year in advance,” he said yesterday.
Pang said they started collecting the lanterns by Chinese New Year and put them up from July.
“Although this year the festival falls on Sept 24, we will have the lanterns for sale until the end of the month.
“The most popular ones are dragon, unicorn and the Disney character Elsa shaped lanterns. The price ranges from RM5 to RM88,” he said.
Foreigners also come for the lanterns as they are fascinated by the tradition.
Three-year-old Saw Zi Qi just could not take her eyes off the colourful lanterns.
Her father Kevin, 38, said it was a great idea to display such a variety of lanterns.
“It is good for our culture as the lanterns are traditional ones, not the battery operated,” he said.
Cheah Geok Kee, 65, who brought her granddaughter Tang Shuen Faye to the outlet, said it was nice to see a wide array of colourful lanterns,
“It is very attractive, especially for children,” she said, adding she was impressed that the shop still carries the traditional shaped lanterns like the fish, chicken, rabbit, and dragon.
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake or Lantern Festival, falls on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar.
During the Shang Dynasty 3,500 years ago, this period was deemed the most auspicious for celebrating the harvest and families would venture out to admire the moon.
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