I I can say that my experience during the 2010 Moon Festival has no comparison. September 22nd was just another regular day for me, until I listened to some of my friends talking about sharing some “moon cakes”. I didn’t have the slightest idea of what a moon cake was. I thought they were referring to some kind of circular iced cake with a white topping, resembling the moon. When I told this to my Taiwanese roommates, they could not stop laughing.

However, my ignorance turned out to be a good thing. Later on the same day, my roommates gave me a big box of moon cakes as a present. As soon as I opened it –and to my surprise- they were not similar to the moon at all. I discovered that a moon cake is a round pastry that measures about 10 cm in diameter and has some Chinese characters on the top. I was so excited about trying them for the first time but, I was also worried because of all the weight I was going to gain by eating all 20 of them.
When I grabbed the first one, I gave it a small bite –afraid of not liking it- but suddenly, the anxious expression on my face changed. I really liked the sweet and creamy filling it had. Then I tried the other one, and it had a different flavor, also very delicious. I wondered how come I’ve never tried them before. I liked Moon cakes so much that I even started thinking about the possibility of selling them in El Salvador or perhaps, all over the world.
When I was about to finish my tenth moon cake, my roommate started explaining to me all about the Moon Festival and its traditions. She told me that it is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is in September or early October. On this day, family members and friends gather to admire the bright mid-autumn moon. As she continued with her story, I had to stop eating my eleventh moon cake, because it was way too much. I think I could’ve won a Moon eating contest that day.
One of the things I like about Moon Festival is that it is a national holiday and they give us the day off. So, my friends planned to have a barbecue –as you can see these guys never miss out a chance to party at a park near Jiantan Station to keep up with the Mid- Autumn celebrations. The barbecue was scheduled for 6 o’clock at night; so I started getting ready and I also invited my Taiwanese roommates.
By the time we arrived, I was hungry again. We all split in small teams to prepare the food, meanwhile others were cooking it. Everybody was so excited to share this new experience together. I introduced my roommates to my foreign friends and I was happy to see they were making jokes, laughing and even dancing together. Luckily, we got to see some fireworks and the food was just marvelous. I couldn’t have asked for more. I can officially say that I can’t wait for the next Moon Festival; I am so looking forward to it.
Just for the record: when I returned to my room, I opened the box of moon cakes, took a picture of them and sent it to my family. I will totally take moon cakes back home as a souvenir next summer, and I am a hundred percent sure that salvadorean people will love them.


MCU- Maria Fernanda Quevedo.doc667 KB