My name is Maria Isabel Hernández Hernández. I am 18 years old and I am from Guatemala. I had the opportunity to travel to Taiwan, which is a wonderful country full of friendly people. All people are friendly, smiling and always willing to help. Taiwan is a big country rich in all the ways, but this time I will talk about the cultural meaning which I found is a very nice custom – party. To tell the truth, I don’t know what do you call it but what I know is that everyone likes to party. It is very nice and is an experience in which everyone shares a lot with many people. You can do different things, with family or friends. In my case I can tell you that I was with my friends who are part of my family.
Moon festival is made out of 2 words that summarize the feeling of joy. Because it is a day in which people perform different activities, the delicious barbecue and cakes are eaten to celebrate this especial occasion. I love sweet cakes and there are very different creative ways to eat them. I like delicious pomelos, which I have never tasted before. They are very similar to oranges but have different flavor and size. I will tell you more about the Moon Festival!
Every year, the Chinese celebrate a special time when the moon is very round and bright in the sky. It is called the Moon Festival (also known as the ‘Mid-Autumn Festival’ because it is the day Farmers celebrate the end of the summer harvesting season) and families would have outdoor picnic at night and go to sit in a park and look at the harvest moon together. (I had my own picnic at my room. I will continue this way!)
The Moon Festival is on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese Lunar calendar -- which means it is usually in Sep or early Oct in the ‘normal’ calendar. This is a very important holiday in Chinese cultures -- almost as important as Chinese New Year. There is a special story that I learned about the Moon Festival: a long time ago in China, it was very, very hot because there were 10 suns in the sky and it was burning everything up. So the King called Houyi, his best Archer Human, to shoot down 9 of the suns. After Houyi did this, the King was very happy and as a reward, gave Houyi a magic pill which could make him live forever. But he said that each person only needs half a pill -- so Houyi and his wife, Chang’e, should only have half each.
Well, Houyi had to go away for a long journey so he put the magic pill in a box and told his wife not to look inside. But Chang’e was naughty and really wanted to know what was inside the box. At last, she couldn’t bear it anymore so she opened the box and when she saw the magic pill inside, she swallowed the whole thing up - which made her fly up into the sky, up to the moon!
So Houyi made a home on the sun (“Yang” - male) while his wife, Chang’e had her home on the moon (“Yin” -- female). They can never be together -- except once a year -- on the night of the Moon Festival -- Houyi can visit his wife and that is why the moon is so round and bright! (My roommates taught me this beautiful history and helped me to make the names in correct way).
Of course, the best part of the Moon Festival is eating moon cakes!
These are special little cakes which are only made at this time. They have a soft chewy brown skin on the outside and,on the inside; they are usually filled with sweet lotus paste and one salty egg yolk. Although nowadays, people make mooncakes with all kinds of fillings, from green tea flavor paste to coconut to even coffee!
The best part of the mooncake is the salty egg yolk and now, for extra money, you can even buy moon cakes that have 2 salty egg yolks or even 3 inside! It is the sweet & salty taste together that makes the moon cakes really yummy -- and Chinese usually have to eat mooncakes with Chinese tea.
As every Chinese holiday is accompanied by some sort of special food,on the Moon Festival, people eat moon cakes, a kind of cookie with fillings of sugar, fat, sesame, walnut, and the yoke of preserved eggs, ham or other material.In my university I ate a lot of delicious pomelos in a greatcompetition!!!

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