As a new student in Taiwan at first hand I had the chance to hear about Moon Festival some weeks before the actual holiday. It was valuable to understand this is one of the most important dates of Taiwanese culture and get to know some the traditional activities during this festival.

 

My school, Yuan Ze University (YZU), prepared a special set of activities for the international to celebrate the Mid Autumn Moon Festival. These activities included the preparation of “Moon Cakes” and a barbecue; also, we were taken to an amusement park to have a fun afternoon and prepare for a good dinner.

 

At first, we went to I – Mei, an outstanding food manufacturer, where we had the opportunity to prepare our own moon cakes. With all the necessary materials on hand, each person made his/her own moon cakes after a brief, but concise, explanation of the steps to follow. Hats, stars, hearts, and several letters where part of the vast variety of moon cake´s shapes. After a few minutes, we had our moon cakes oven-cooked, ready to try them and saved some for later. At the end of the morning, a brief description of I – Mei´s history helped to comprehend how this firm has been able to maintain its excellent reputation and achieve continuous growth.

 

After I-Mei, we went to Leofoo Village, a nice and big amusement park. It combines the modern technology and innovation to create a genuine environment including buildings, plants, landscape, food and beverage, merchandise, music, clothes and recreational facilities. Furthermore, it has six different cultural customs as the main attraction: Wild West, South Pacific, Arabian Kingdom, China Town, Fairy Tale Town and African Safari. Considering the easiness to try every entertainment conveniences, it was a lucky day.  In a holiday, there are expectations of a substantial amount of people in an amusement park, but this was not the case! Even though we just spend around 5 hours in Leofoo Village, I’m sure everybody had a good time, enjoying the facilities and sharing with new and old friends. Leo Fu Village is definitely a nice place to hang around, eat, and have some fun with family and friends.

 

 

Finally, after all the physical activities everybody was willing to have a good dinner, so we really enjoyed dining in an all-you-can-eat barbecue restaurant. It was a very fresh experience for me; I have had many barbecues, but never the way I had it that night. To make clear, the mixed experience of all-you-can-eat feature and the fact that we had to grill our own food the way we wanted to, was remarkable. I have never cooked before in a grill-dining table; additionally there were many kinds of food options, from meats to vegetables, and some of them were not familiar to me, hence it was an amazing end of the “Mid Autumn Moon Festival Cultural Trip”.

 

So what are people supposed to do on Mid-Autumn Moon Festival? They're supposed to spend time with their family, look at the moon, and do some traditional activities, e.g. eating moon cakes and having barbecue. We often saw beautiful moon at night, but family was harder to come by. Big holidays - at least as celebrated in Taiwan - are mostly about family. This makes them hard to experience as an outsider, but this is piece of a memorable experience and definitely YZU did a great job by integrating all the foreign students to celebrate an important holiday, thus interacting with splendid people from all over the world, facing a significant level of cultural exchange.

 

Therefore, I enjoyed every minute of the Moon Festival and I´m delighted for having new friends, new memoirs, and gaining knowledge about Taiwanese culture.

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