Shenkuu Lunar Festival, Not Like Any Other
The Shenkuu Lunar Festival attracts many visitors annually, with Neopians coming all the way from Roo Island, and even Maraqua! Neopians gather in the beautiful oriental town of Shenkuu, that is nested high on the mountains. The mystical city is north of Altador, allowing Altadorians easy access to this beautiful land. It has been lying in the mist in hiding, until the crew of the Cyodrake's Gaze discovered it. Beautiful trees and waterfalls cover this mystified and enchanted place. One of the popular attractions is the Shenkuu Lunar temple, which attracts thousands of Neopians daily. On the 10th day of Eating, Y15, young Neopians from the east and west will gather to celebrate the Shenkuu Lunar Temple. Read more on the grand festivities and the once-in-a-lifetime activities that can be seen on this very honourable and unique day.
Grand Feast (Shenkuu Lunar Festival Grand Feast)
The Grand Feast not only showcases the best of Shenkuu food, it also fills you up with some of Neopian's finest chef's unique and delicate recipes. Made by Chef Bonju himself, the delicate, flavourful, and expensive food is of the highest quality and taste. There are many foods, but here are some of the most moving and famous dishes, as described by the infamous Chef Bonju himself:
~ SHENKUU LUNAR FESTIVAL MENU - Y9 ("Wow! It's been that long since we've had one? I think it's time for a revamp.") ~
APPETIZER - Chokato Dumplings: "This is without a doubt, one of my favourite dishes. And it is also very popular. What do you mean you've never heard of it? I love just how well the sticky and sweet Chokato complements the savoury and flavourful dumpling. They complement each other so well, it's like well... MAGIC! All the visitors are all very excited to try it the moment they smell the delightful aroma. What can I say? It's one of a kind."
SOUP - Misty Shenkuu Mountain Soup: "This soup is delightfully magical, it's a crowd-wooer and eye-opener! A bowl of this will swoop you off your tiny little feet. Not just because of the delightful mist swirling around, engulfing the tiny, edible mountain, but because of the taste! This soup complements the 4 basic elements of taste: salty, sweet, sour, bitter. The secret is what's inside the soup, which can't be revealed for magical and privacy reasons. The tiny green mountains that seem to magically sprout out of the bowl are 100% edible! They are just the right thing to complement the warm soup. They're so perfect together, like a beautiful couple, or the red to the orange in the rainbow."
SALAD - Hairy Fungus Salad: "Who doesn't love mushrooms and fungi? I admit, it may not look the best salad ever, but the savoury mushrooms totally make up for the lack of appearance. Made with a variety of mushrooms and freshly-picked fungi, several pea pods and pieces of lettuce add to this remarkable work of art. This dish is a shocker, because it tastes just as ugly as it is. And no, to address rumours, that is NOT made of my oh, so luscious hair. All of our talented chefs and workers have NEVER used any type of Neopian hair in our dishes. Honestly speaking."
ENTRÉE - Spicy Cabbage Pancakes: "Cabbage pancakes are delicious! Cabbage, I think, is one of my favourite vegetables. It's nutritious, can be cooked with literally almost everything, and it complements just about everything! These pancakes are HOT-HOT-HOT, but the taste is WAY too fantastic to not love. It's been tried by many brave Neopians. They have all loved it! Make sure you have a water bottle on hand, just in case of any SUPER-SPICY emergencies! Even I can't eat this dish. But the taste is incredible!"
DESSERT - Almond Pudding: "This desert is probably the only reason why people attend my all-exclusive feast! Almond pudding is SO DELICIOUS, and the strawberries, blueberries, and banana add so well to this sweet masterpiece. It's a good treat, with the right amount of sweet and sour. The sweetness of this delightful treat will make you cry tear of sweet happiness and joy. The different fruits in this piece are hand-picked, washed by hand, and delicately place onto the pudding. It is such a harmonized dish, and I am so proud of it. It's an exclusive family recipe that only several people in the world know. Sold at Shenkuu Mart in single-serving portions too! It's such a great finish to this big feast."
Shenkuu Firecrackers explode, bangs and booms fill the air. Dangling on a rooftop, the red firecrackers create a beautiful yellow explosion, followed by a series of ear-splitting booms and bangs. The firecracker show is all courtesy to the Firecracker Association of Shenkuu (yes, that really exists). The president of the secretive association, Bart Gnorbu, sat down with me for a 5 minute interview. Here are some of the exclusive highlights:
"Bart, what's your favourite part of the festival?"
"To be honest, I don't have one. But I really enjoy my firecracker show!"
"How do firecrackers work?"
"Sorry, I can't give out that kind of information."
"Who is involved in decorating and putting up all the beautiful firecrackers?"
"My team is, of course. We start out with a plan, deciding which temple should have firecrackers, and we decide on how much. We work together as a co-operative team to make sure we decorate the place and get it all fancy."
"I heard your team is also involved in decorating the markets, stalls, and basically the grand banquet room where the Grand Feast is held. Is that right?"
"At this point, it is neither true or false. We decorate the markets, stalls, and streets, but we have nothing to do with the banquet. It's to regal for us."
"Thanks for your time Mr. Gnorbu! Is there anything you'd like to add?"
"No problem, I hope this year you will come out to see our show. Tickets are only 4,000 NP each, and each owner can bring in his/her Neopets in for absolutely FREE! Aren't we considerate? Come on down and have a great time! Or um, I guess up."
Red Lucky Envelope Exchange
The color red itself symbolizes luck, happiness, and good fortune. Red Lucky Envelopes are tiny envelopes filled with Neopoints that you exchange with your loved ones. You can give any denominator, 5,000 NP, or even 100,000 NP for that special someone. At the stroke of 8PM (8 being a lucky number, symbolizing wealth and luck), the exchange begins. There are often contests held for little Neopets, and the prizes are usually Red Lucky Envelopes.
There you have it, three fun and different activities that go on during the Shenkuu Lunar Festival. This festival is a great time to introduce your Neopets and their petpets (and their petpetpets) to the beautiful and mysterious culture of the Shenkuu people. They have such different lifestyle, it will be a great learning activities! More festivities are added to the big festival each year, so don't miss out! There are so many things to do, and it's a night full of joy, happiness, and wonder! In my opinion, it is one of the most enjoyable festivals in Neopia. Who knows, maybe going to this festival may give you some desired luck. Prosperity and luck are commonly associated with this festival, so, who knows? Tickets start at 20,000 NP per Adult, but Neopets can get in for only 10,000 NP each! What a steal! That's 50% off, for those who don't know. The date for the festival is on the 10th day of Eating, Y15. About 10,000 Neopians show up each year, wanting to catch a glimpse at the magical events and festivities. The (regal) doors open at 5:00, so don't be late! The doors are closed at 8:00, when no admission is allowed. The festival ends at 10:30. At the stroke of 10, a Hissi dance will be performed by Shenkuu's very own Lion Dance Committee. Make sure you stay for that!
This year, it is estimated that at least 15,000 Neopians will attend, but the planning committee is expecting UP TO 25,000 Neopians will show up. That means come early, and join in on all the fantastic fun!
I wish all my readers a lucky and prosperous Y15, the Year of the Snake! Thanks for reading, and have a great Shenkuu Lunar Festival. Who knows what the night will bring? See you all there!