There is a big traditional festival in autumn in Taiwan called Mid-autumn Festival or Moon Festival. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth Chinese lunar month, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar, close to theautumnal equinox. At this time of the year, all the fruits, vegetables, and grains in agrarian Taiwan have already been harvested.
There are several generic and regional traditions and customs connected with the Mid-autumn Festival:
Because the moon is at its fullest, roundest and brightest during the Mid-autumn Festival, nobody misses the chance to gaze the moon if it is a clear night.
The festival is also a time for family reunions. The fullness and roundness of the moon symbolizes reunion and togetherness. Family members eat mooncakes and enjoy the eat together.
The traditional food of the Mid-autumn Festival is the mooncake which is a round or rectangular pastry with an outer skin curt and a dense inner filling.
The pomelo fruit is also a traditional food during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Pomelos are similar to grapefruits but they are larger and have a green or yellow rind. They are the largest of all the citrus fruits, so they are symbolic of the large round moon. Pomelos are enjoyed on the night of the festival, and they taste like grapefruit, but sweeter with little or no bitterness.
Another tradition that marks the festival is the hanging and/or carrying of candle-lit (and now battery-powered) lanterns, especially by children. Nowadays, lanterns in the shapes of animals, cartoon characters, and other trendy themes are popular. Lanterns are also hung on bamboo poles and installed on trees, towers, and other high places. Lantern parades and fairs are also commonly held for the display of beautifully designed lanterns in different shapes and forms. The release of...