The Moon Festival in Taiwan

The Moon Festival is a tradition celebrated in Taiwan and in many countries of East Asia to mark the fall harvest. It is by far the most famous celebration in this country. The festival was originated more than 1000 years ago, as a holiday to worship the moon and the day, it is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month in observance of the generous autumn harvest. Taiwan is a great opportunity to approach to the richness of Asian cultures, there you will be impressed by its beauty, from gigantic temples to modern cities and green landscapes.

I attended the festival because it was necessary for a better understanding of my Chinese lessons and to get inside the Taiwanese culture. Since I was only with my boyfriend and we did not have at that moment any Taiwanese friend, our decision was to wander around Taichung and see how the festival is. In the evening we went out of our home in the direction of the night market of Taichung, one of the most famous markets in Taiwan.

I know that for Europeans it may be strange, but in Taiwan the lifestyle is way different than in Hungary, there the life starts very early and finishes too late,

for example, the night markets commonly open at 7 pm and close at 2 am or even later, so being out of home at 7 pm was more than perfect to enjoy the Festival.

 

 

There are many elements that are part of this tradition, we were surprised when we discovered the celebration happens basically everywhere, people take out tiny grills to the streets and reunite with friends and family during the night to eat, drink, sing, and turn on beautiful lanterns. They cook amazing traditional Taiwanese food, the smell while you are passing around is wonderful, you see the colors and the flavors of millenary traditions over these grills: onions, beef, duck, pork, bread, homemade xiao long bao, baozi, jiaozi, stinky tofu, soups and many other things. Moreover, I was astonished by the tinctures and designs of the lanterns because they were everywhere lighting the streets, which made them look alluring.

 

 

These days close of the Moon Festival are amazing because if Taiwan is characterized for its night markets and nightlife, this celebration make this country even more alive and attractive.

One of the things that I liked the most about the Festival is that I did not feel left behind as a foreigner, the streets were full of people and the night market, stores, restaurants and practically everything was open.

It took  plenty of time for us to stop walking around the streets thanks to us wanting to see the people with their grills, lanterns and fireworks with detail. We ate beef soup, drank  bubble tea (did you know that it was invented in Taiwan?) We wanted to experience the complete tradition, so we decided that it was time to go for their famous mooncake, which is made in this time of the year in different sizes with a special type of bread, then filled with beans, pineapple, and lotus seed, among others. There are many variations of this cake, if you walk enough you can find more options. We stayed out looking at the people for so long that night, that we went back home finally at 3:00 am to sleep. Taiwan is a country full of life, culture and colors, being part of this tradition is one of the best experiences I have ever had, and I would like to go back to Taiwan just to have the opportunity to live it again and I highly recommend you to do the same.