Wednesday, September 21, 2011

moon festival!

The moon festival or better known as the Mid-Autumn festival only remains in my mind because of the moon cakes people are always talking about eating. I've never liked moon cakes so it has always been a meh holiday for me. Especially since the past 5 years I haven't been home to celebrate with my family. I don't actually recall looking at the moon during this time at all. The Mid-Autumn festival is a big deal here in Taiwan. The Mid-Autumn Festival fell on Sept. 12th this year and so I didn't have to work on Monday because of it! I love the fact that being in Asia I get to celebrate and have days off for Asian holidays rather than trying to cram it around school and work.

So the story associated with the Mid-Autumn Festival revolves around Houyi and Chang'e, the Moon Goddess of Immortality. I'm not sure if people have ever heard the story where there was a time when there were ten suns in the sky causing things on Earth to die. Well Houyi was the archer who shot down all the suns but for one of them. He was rewarded with a pill of immortality that he hid in his house. His wife Chang'e found it and swallowed the pill and flew up to the moon where she lives to this day. The story goes that once a year, on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, Houyi visits Chang'e on the moon. This is why the moon is so full and beautiful on this night.

I know in Chinatown during this holiday there are street fairs and games but in Taiwan people celebrate by spending time with their family and having barbeques on the street. Their barbeques are different in that they don't have elaborate barbeque grills or anything just a place to hold some coal and a mesh surface to hold the food up over it. After every store closed for the night I would see all the employees hold a barbeque right in front on the street.

who says you need a bbq grill to bbq?
Since I got not family to bbq with I went to eat some wonton noodle soup with some dumplings.
wenchou wonton noodle soup
a side of dumplings
10 dumplings for $8NT!! So cheap but I think there was like a minimum order of like $100NT or something or I would definitely just order like 20 dumplings and be full for less than a dollar USD!

condiment station
In every restaurant I've eaten in, in Taiwan, condiments are located at a different table. This includes eating utensils too. Not only that but there are no napkin dispensers at tables. Instead napkin dispensers are attached to different locations around the restaurant on the wall. So you literally have to walk around in order to eat your meal or to clean yourself up. How smart to make it so that I can't just be fat and lazy and have to move around just so I can eat my meal. This also includes refills on drinks. If there are waiters or waitresses they will only bring you the first cup of water or beverage. Afterwards if drinks do have refills like free water you would need to go to the condiment station to get your own. In the beginning when my cup was empty, I was wondering why they weren't bringing me my refills. Now I know. No tips = service yourself. Haha


  1. i realized that it's not a good idea to look at your blog right before lunch because i get even more hungry.

  2. Our family doesn't even celebrate the moon festival anymore. I was home and we didn't have any moon cakes!