Initially I did not know what Moon Festival was all about, and certainly did not know that it was a big celebration here in Taiwan. I am Andrei Chell, a student from Belize. Back at home, I have many Taiwanese friends, and I clearly remember that last year, around this time, one of my Taiwanese friends went to my house and gave me 5 Moon Cakes. She told me it was Moon Festival for them but I did not know what all the festival was about. Now this year, I am here in Taiwan. My program manager and professors told me that we would have Holiday on Wednesday because of Moon Festival but still yet I did not know what this festival was. My Human Anatomy teacher told us that Moon Festival came along with a long, yet interesting story. This made me having a clear view on what this special festival was all about. Here in my university, we had a pomelo peeling contest which is a famous game for Moon Festival. It was surprising to see my Taiwanese friends tearing those pomelos’ skin into pieces. I participated in it and I have to admit that it was a wonderful experience. After the game, my Belizean class mates and I sat on a picnic table to eat our nice pomelos with salt and pepper- we added our Belizean touch to it. My Chemistry professor shared some moon cakes and pomelos with my classmates and I. I was told that pomelos and Moon cakes are the traditional food for Moon Festival.
All was well for this festival but I did not know how to say “Happy Moon Festival” to my friends in mandarin. Luckily for me, my Chinese professor taught us to say ‘Moon Cakes’, ‘Pomelo’ and ‘Happy Moon Festival’ in Mandarin. September 22nd came and I began saying “Zhōngqiū jié kuàilè!”to all my Taiwanese and Belizean friends. I also bought some moon cakes to share with my Taiwanese roommates so as to keep the festival alive! On that same day, two other Belizeans and I from my university went to my Ambassador’s residence to have a nice bar-b-q and to enjoy Moon Festival with our Belizean friends. This day was filled with amusement. We shared some moon cakes and the tradition of moon festival was kept alive all through the day! I also got to witness some local Taiwanese barbecuing meat outdoors which I was also told it has become a way to celebrate Moon Festival here in Taiwan. Having a nice time with my friends and enjoying Moon Festival here in Taiwan was certainly a memorable experience. On my way back to dorm, I saw the big and bright moon up in the sky. It was definitely a picture moment. This was one of the brightest and most beautiful nights I have ever seen in my life. Also, out of my university I saw some Taiwanese families and friends enjoying their delicious moon cakes, pomelos and bar-b-q under the brilliant and amazing sky.
All in all, I got to admit that this was one of the most unforgettable experiences I had gone through in my life. I had to tell my Taiwanese friends back at Belize what all I did for this Moon Festival. Being in the center of this celebration was like being a whole new person. For a while, I thought I was Taiwanese. What a fantastic culture and tradition this is, I said to myself! I undeniably enjoyed this day and I got to say that Moon Festival is great day to share laugher and enjoyment with your friends under the attractive and bright moon eating bar-b-q, moon cakes and pomelos. Without any doubt this was a magnificent experience and I wish to repeat it again next year here in Taiwan!

NTUNHS-_Andrei_Rohan_Chell.doc406 KB