Hello, it’s lok swen here, procrastinating from doing my AIML homework :^)
So let’s talk about mid autumn festival. In Singapore, all you see are an overwhelming ads for mooncakes and honestly that’s pretty much it. I remember when I was younger, people used to bring their kids out with their lil paper lanterns and chopstick, and some of the more atas kids had the electronic ones that could play music, and some people would have sparklers and stuff. Good fun. In Taiwan, they don’t really do the sparklers and lanterns but mid autumn is a public holiday here. It’s a pretty huge occasion and they host BBQ parties with their families and friends. You will start to see loads of BBQs in the neighbourhoods and it’s an incredibly heartwarming sight.
We were fortunate enough to have Leonard in our group, and his Taiwanese relatives invited us and some of the NUS people we met to their house for mid autumn BBQ!
So basically, they just set up tables and grills on the side of the roads and bring all the food to BBQ. The security guards here are really friendly, and they helped to set up tables and get the fire started. Leonard’s grandma thanked them by feeding them a huge pot of beehoon and bbq meat.
At first it didn’t look like a lot of food,but oh my god there was so much left. We had to stuff ourselves so that we don’t waste all these good food. There was beehoon, king oyster mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, pork, sausages, glutinous rice, prawns, veggies, more meat, tempura etc etc. It was amazing.
Taiwanese people are very very hospitable and warm. The family even invited their kids’ piano teacher along and their generosity is really boundless. It felt like a CNY gathering without all the probing uncles and aunties getting all up in your business. And it really felt like home, even though we were a huge group made up of people from everywhere.
It was a pretty special experience and I would highly recommend befriending your Taiwanese friends! And if you do get invited to a BBQ, do bring some mooncakes as a gift to the family!!
We also went to 平溪 Ping Xi for their mid autumn festival!
We started our day at 5 am and took a long time to travel to PingXi High School, which is where you go to register for sky lanterns for the festival. Normally, you could just buy your own lanterns and release them on your own time. But because of mid autumn, they held a free activity where hundreds of people would release their lanterns together, and it really felt like that scene from Tangled!!
If you ever visit Taiwan during Mid autumn, you should definitely look for some official mid autumn festivals, especially in pingxi!