Happy {belated} Moon Festival!!!

Moon Festival, also known as Mid-Autumn Festival, is a holiday celebrated throughout several east Asian countries including Taiwan on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar…yeah, I don’t understand dates like this yet either lol….in other words, we celebrated the holiday on Sunday, September 27, 2015 and because it fell on a weekend was given Monday the 28th off of school (this is also Confucius’sbirthday and Teacher’s Day here in Taiwan).

Upon asking around for the meaning of moon festival I received some mixed reviews, but most boiled down to a holiday revolving around family, friends, giving thanks for the year’s harvest, and praying to the gods for whatever you might need. I was also given responses along the lines of “I don’t know but we get a day off” and “it’s about an old legend of a rabbit living on the moon and  you can’t point to the moon or else the rabbit will bite your ear off!” haha…I’m not so sure about the later responses!

Anyways! Regardless of the reason for the holiday I was able to quickly pick up on and participate in the traditions of Moon Festival which including gathering with family & friends, having a BBQ, and eating moon cakes & pomelos.

BBQ --- BBQ’s are very popular here especially surrounding the Moon Festival and can either be at home (outside over a fire) or in a BBW restaurant where you purchase raw cuts of meat and cook them over the open fire in the middle of your table.

Moon Cakes --- These delicious little balls of yumminess are EVERYWHERE during the preparation of the Moon Festival, and as a foreigner everyone assumed I had never had one (correct!) and brought them into school for me to try by the truck load! Haha (new food makes for a happy Tracy!)  There are MANY variations of moon cakes  with the traditional being red bean paste, but they typically boil down to a small round pastry filled with meat, fruit, veggies (anything you can think of!) surrounding an egg yok resembling a full moon…DELICIOUS! (the link above shows the more Chinese style moon cakes, Tiawanese style cakes are simply round balls)

Pomelos --- This fruit is yet another fruit that when introduced to I had no idea existed! This giant green citrus fruit is the largest of the citrus family and although bright green on the outside, most closely resembles a sweet less tangy grapefruit on the inside. These are frequently given as gifts during the Moon Festival (aka the foreign English teacher easily ends up with a dozen of these suckers!) and the thick rinds are often also cut open and put on kids’ heads like hats…not sure why haha.