Thursday, September 29, 2011

Taiwan Life and Fun: Moon Festival

Moon Festival or otherwise known as Mid-Autumn Festival was celebrated September 12th this year. It is celebrated every year on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. This happens to be the time of year when the moon is the biggest and brightest. Interestingly, this year we saw the moon the night before, but on the night of the 12th the moon was hidden by clouds. Go figure! 
We celebrated anyway. Families in Taiwan, typically barbecue together as they watch the moon.  This is a picture of a family across from our balcony barbecuing on their rooftop. 

We did our barbecuing on our balcony. We had chicken and roasted onions and peppers. Then we added a bit American Culture with the mix, s'mores! New trick with these wonders...we used Nutella instead of chocolate bars. So. Much. Better!

Another tradition is to eat something called a mooncake. It is basically a pastry with something sweet inside. Most of the time, the inside is a sugary egg filling or red bean paste. Sometimes you can find chocolate, coffee, or green tea flavored ones. I bought small ones with pineapple flavored fillings, which is the family's favorite. The picture below is of a red bean paste filling. 
The outside of the mooncake. 

The inside of a mooncake. They are solid and very rich!
A few days before the actual festival date, our neighborhood had a party in the park for the community. Tents were set up with food and crafts for the younger crowd to enjoy. The amphitheater had entertainment of bands and different performances. My husband took two of the kids before supper and I took them back after supper, along with the camera!  They had watched people singing and dancing...but when we got there:
Lion Dancers!

Taiwan has many folk religions and temples.

And the gods have gone modern. They hip-hop dance!
It was an interesting experience. Culturally speaking, I enjoyed watching and observing my community and their beliefs. Spiritually speaking, as a Christian, it was unsettling with all the loud music with gongs and cymbals clanging.
Please note that most of these folk religions bring fear to most people. The people here are VERY superstitious and fear that the gods will "get them or their loved ones" if they don't do the right things. 
I don't normally ask this here, but if you are a praying person, could I ask you to pray for Taiwan and for my family. We just moved to one of the districts with the most temples per square meter for our city. Every time we walk outside, we see this "fear" in the form of people in the temples, wearing "protective" symbols around their necks, and burning fake money on a regular basis. 

So, if you celebrated Moon Festival this year, what did you do? Or if you have a question about this festival ask and I'll try to get an answer for you.

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Jenny said...

The Moon Festival! We know what that is now. We STILL want to send you guys a treat. Anything you've been missing lately?

MaDonna Maurer said...

Jenny, I seriously thought of you all this year!
You are so sweet...I can't think of anything that we really miss. It is usually some sort of candy and we don't need all that sugar. So, if you would like to send something, why not send something that your kids really love to snack on that is light weight. It will be a treat for my kids to get something from the US no matter what it is...and I know coming from you, it will be extra healthy so double bonus. =)

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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