I didn’t know what the Moon Festival was until I came to Taiwan. Everyone in school was asking me and other foreigners what we were supposed to do for the festival.
 
By those days, there were sets at the supermarkets with different kind of stuff for grilling; the meatballs, the sausages, pork, chicken, dressings; they even had oven and grill. Eat the moon cakes is also part of the tradition and it represents the round shape of the full moon. Most Chinese consume moon cakes given to them by relatives, friend, employers, or public relations people
Anyway, we didn’t really understand that Moon Festival or Mid–Autumn Festival is a celebration where Taiwanese families gather up. In fact, most of Chinese Festivals are still mostly about family.
 
 I guess the different naming for this holiday is because of the varying dates of the festival, since it's clocked by the Chinese calendar it could be anywhere between the beginning of September to beginning of October. 
We, as foreigners students have different feelings about this National celebration because it is not part of our culture, nevertheless, it is interesting to see new cultural things.This makes them hard to experience as an outsider, but it is an experience nonetheless.
 
Last year, me and my classmates had a nice experience because we had a barbecue, pomelo and moon cakes with all the foreigner students from our program. It was nice because Taiwanese people from our Master’s program made us feel like at home, like family and I think that’s one of the most important goals of this celebration.
 
About the Pomelo…
Chinese don't dispose of the skin; instead, they put the pomelo rinds on their heads. In Mandarin, pomelos are called 柚子 (you zi), a homophone for words that mean "prayer for a son." Therefore, eating pomelos and putting their rinds on the head signify a prayer for the youth in the family. In addition, the Chinese believe that by placing pomelo rinds on their heads, the moon goddess Chang'e will see them and respond to their prayers when she looks down from the moon.
 
BBQ day
According to an article I read on the internet, the Moon or Mid-Autumn Festival is also a BBQ day Despite the government's efforts to crack down on outdoor grilling for the sake of the environment, barbequing persists among Taiwanese families. In the mid-1980s, a major barbeque-sauce company launched an ad with the slogan "Mid-Autumn Night is BBQ Night".It is also a nice feeling when you are walking down the streets and you see families doing the bbq at the sidewalk, entire families finally, even the dog is there with them.
There are some apartment buildings nearby my dorm at university, and there was people I have never seen before, for many reasons, maybe their busy lives, different schedules than mine, or whatever the reasons are, but I finally saw then for this Festival.
 
This year was not that special as it was my first year in Taiwan, for many reasons, different people probably, not the same emotion as the first time at this kind of festival, or simply, because I was willing to be with my family as the Taiwanese were with theirs. But, still it is an admirable ancient tradition that people continue to celebrate.
 
I’m sure that next year by this time I will be longing these ‘weird’ traditions and already missing Taiwan, without weird stuff, without mooncakes, and Taiwanese friends that replace my family for these two years.
Anyway, Moon Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival or however they call it, is already part of my good memories from this island.

AttachmentSize
NTU-Jorge Delgado.doc179.5 KB