Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The cakes of the Moon...Or maybe the 饼 of the 月...

This weekend is the Mid-Autumn festival 中秋节 in Taiwan. Also called Mooncake festival. So yesterday at uni I had a cultural lesson all about it. Only thing is my teacher explained it all in Chinese, so I'm not a hundred percent sure that I actually understood it all, or whether I just made up my own story from guessing when I was unsure on certain words. (It's amazing how much we communicate not from our mouths!! Body language and facial expressions have become great friends of mine. For without them, some of the time I would have no idea what was going on!) From what I gathered though, the crux of it is, it's something to do with a kind of moon god and appreciating the moon.

But pretty much it's a bit like Christmas, in that the whole story behind it, is not really of any consequence to people any more, and it's more a time for families to get together. 

Then the moon cakes 月饼 came into the equation. In my head they are like mince pies. Not to eat no no, but that they are the food of the holiday but actually have nothing to do with anything. Apparently everyone eats grapefruit around this time too. (Is that just because it's ripe to eat though?!) 月饼 are now made in all manor shapes, colours and sorts. The traditional ones are a kinda sugary pastry with pork in. But now they come with various fillings. They're funny little things to eat. When you say cake to me I think 'mmmm sugary goodness, let's put the kettle on!' Not these cakes though, it's like they've not truly committed to being a cake. They're still trying to be savoury but with a hint of sweet. Very odd. Not terrible, but not something you would have with a cuppa! 

I like the idea of appreciating the moon. I often find myself being mesmerized by the moon. It's an amazing piece of creation! But it's there every night. Why do you need a special day to appreciate it?! Also, with all the light pollution around, can you truly appreciate the moon?! That's one thing I miss about Devon. Often I would drive home, park up and stare at the stars just because they are amazing! But there is sooooo much light pollution here, that the night sky is just a big haze of purple. (As you can imagine this freaks me out a tad! hehe) Well that's Abi logic on the moon situation! But it will be interesting to witness what these folks do.

Last night my American housemate and I thought we would give our Taiwanese housemates a bit of a Western experience. The roof, a fire and marshmallows! Need I say any more! Toasting marshmallow and the smell of a fire = good times! 

Song of the day. I forgot how amazing Oasis are! So I've been reliving the '90s and listening to the classic Oasis tracks. Rediscovered the brilliance of the track Whatever. I don't think you can ever go wrong with electric guitar and violin combination! 

an assortment of 月饼 mooncakes

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