Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mid Autumn Moon Festival - 中秋節

I have been to Taiwan and China, many, many times over the years just prior to the Mid Autumn Moon Festival, but never had a chance to actually see the celebration day. To quote from Wikipedia:

The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar. It is a date that parallels the autumnal equinox of the solar calendar, when the moon is supposedly at its fullest and roundest. The traditional food of this festival is the mooncake, of which there are many different varieties.

In other words it was yesterday, September 22, 2010.

The big gift is the giving of "mooncakes" basically very small cakes with various fillings and toppings. It seems to parallel the Western tradition of giving of fruitcakes during Christmas time, because everyone gives them as presents, but no one really likes to eat them (at least I was the only one I saw last night that ate one).

We traveled  over to Charlene's parents for dinner and there were a number of family members and friends in attendance. The highlight of the evening wasn't the mooncakes or the food, it was the two puppies. Charlene's brother brought over their 6 month old Pekingese and our friend Ping  bought over his 3 month old Miniature Pinscher. I always seem to get along pretty well with dogs and little kids...I'm not sure what that means, but I think that's a good thing.

Another weird thing is that beagles are still very popular here in Taiwan. Not as popular as a few years ago, but they still use beagles as the customs dog at the Taipei airport (we actually saw one bust a guy smuggling in some "illegal" food in his traveling bag). It is quite strange coming from the Midwestern USA where beagles run around in backyard and in the the woods, to then come to Taiwan and see them being walked en mass on the city streets of Taipei.

My Chinese classes start 2 weeks from today, and I'm looking forward to getting some structure and order back into my life. It is great not working, staying up literally all night, waking up at noon, drinking as much as I want, but it is getting very tiring and boring. Getting back to a structured life is going to be a very good thing for me I think.

(Happy Mid Autumn Season)