Posted by: sea2stars | October 4, 2009

Moon Festival

If their is one thing I can say is that the Taiwanese people love festivals. For moon festival it is traditional that you barbeque with friends and set off fireworks. Bunny, a chinese teacher at my school, invited some of us to join her and her friends for a barbeque. It was so much fun, despite the fact that I didn’t understand most of what went on that night.

As I expected, barbeque in Taiwan has the same spirit as it does in America but very different food. I’m not sure of everything I ate but I did have beef, chicken, sweet sausage, octopus, grilled mushrooms, corn, peppers, bamboo and various other delicious food that can’t be translated into English. They also had moon cake. They come in all sorts of flavor. One tasted like a curry pumpkin, another like bland garlic bread, and the other 2 kinds are indescribable. The cakes are kind of dry and not very sweet, (Taiwanese people have a very different opinion of sweets than Americans) I don’t really like the moon cakes.

I also go told the legends of Change E and the Jade Rabbit. Their are many variation of these stories but these were closest to what I was told.

ChangE – The story takes place around 2170 B.C. At that time, the earth had ten suns circling it, each taking its turn to illuminate to the earth. But one day all ten suns appeared together, scorching the earth with their heat. The earth was saved by a strong and tyrannical archer named Hou Yi. He succeeded in shooting down nine of the suns. One day, Hou Yi stole the elixir of life from a goddess. However, his beautiful wife Chang E drank the elixir of life in order to save the people from her husband’s tyrannical rule. After drinking it, she found herself floating and flew all they way to the moon. Hou Yi loved his divinely beautiful wife so much, he refused to shoot down the moon.

The Jade Rabbit – In this legend, three fairy sages transformed themselves into pitiful old men and begged for something to eat from a fox, a monkey and a rabbit. The fox and the monkey both had food to give the old men, but the rabbit, empty-handed, offered his own flesh instead by jumping into a blazing fire to cook himself. The sages were so touched by the rabbit’s sacrifice that they let him live in the Moon Palace where he became the “Jade Rabbit.”

Apparently if you look closely you can see the rabbit on the moon. One of the girls at the party kept trying to get me to drink more wine so I could see the rabbit on the moon.

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