Monday, October 01, 2007

In celebration of the mid-autumn festival

Sept 25 is the declared national holiday in celebration of the mid-autumn or the so called moon festival. Our company also declared Sept. 24 as a non-working holiday but we had to work on 09.29, Saturday, to "pay" for it. Anyway, moon festival is a time for moon cakes and outdoor barbequing. Several moon cakes were shared in the office and we also ordered a box of pineapple cakes from one of our former colleagues. Ate Rosie also gave us a box of curry flavored mooncakes which I only tasted once. Only hubby liked it. There’s also the pomelo which I think by its not so round shape somewhat represents the moon (?).

Other than the mooncake and pomelo, Taiwanese do not skip barbequing either on the night of the moon festival or earlier. Most of our colleagues in the office asked if we’re having barbeque, our common answer is that we’ll just savour the smell that will come in our apartment windows. Eventually, I asked Ate Rosie’s plan. Since they didn’t do any barbequing for the last couple of years, I persuaded her so that we can have a get together with our other friends. She also got excited so we planned on what to prepare. During the weekend, she started to buy seafoods and some frozen stuffs. Then on Monday afternoon, we went to the market to buy meat and vegetables. We prepared the typical pinoy barbeque marinated in soy sauce, ketchup and sprite plus of course, a lot of garlic. We also bought ingredients for pansit guisado and we asked our friend Juvel to prepare macaroni salad. We actually prepared a lot more than the planned varieties. There were sausages, a certain kind of Japanese fish, a local fish like the “espada”, chicken wings, pork pinoy bbq, mushroom and green pepper, shrimp, squid, chicken butt (kimmot in Ilokano) and oyster. The last two were both upon the request of Ate Rosie’s hubby, Kuya Jack. They actually went to buy it after we cooked the pansit guisado, just about an hour before we had lunch. Of course, we didn’t miss to prepare the famous dip sauce (sawsawan) – vinegar with diced onions, black pepper and salt. (Describing it now made me salivate, hehehe).

The men started to set-up our barbeque grills at 2PM and we followed shortly. The apartment compound designated a particular place near the basketball court for people to set-up their “picnic grounds”. Dennis cooked the sausage first and it turned out to be a “charcoaled sausage” so they eventually used a foil on top of the grill to avoid “burning” our food. Andrew even kidded him by saying “Yeah, I like my barbeque burnt”. The oyster was great. At first I was hesitant to eat it because of my fear of having stomach upset later but upon tasting it, yummy, I ate more than two.

While we were cooking, Jade on the other hand, enjoyed her own freedom running around the grounds. She was so proud that she would even run towards the court by herself not minding the people around her and running after her. Huh, it was one of the days where she made me and Dennis tired running after her. She eventually got tired and slept in my arms hours later. That gave me time to enjoy the rest of the food. We packed up at 6PM and went back to Ate Rosie’s home to have dinner. Most of the foods were consumed, that made us glad since at first, we thought there were so many foods prepared and only few came. Our local friends enjoyed the pinoy barbeque.

We ended up tired but satisfied. We look forward to next year’s mooncake festival for another outdoor fun.

I’ve managed to organize our presentable pictures here.

PS. I asked several Taiwanese friends what’s beyond having barbeque during moon festival. They tell me that it’s not really a tradition. It started when a barbeque sauce TV commercial was launched telling everyone to have barbeque during the moon festival. Huh, television commercials are really persuasive in here. Not only one or two people told me this so I really believed the origin is from that tv commercial. You see, one of my friends also told me about a tv commercial of a junk food/ snack food where in that commercial, it asked the viewers to bring that snack food everytime they go on trips, and yeah, people obeyed. My friend said she brings that kind of snack herself and when she taught in a cram school, the kids would bring the same kind of snack food on their educational trips.

On the other hand, some articles say that barbequing is their act of sharing and giving back the blessings they’ve received.

1 comment: said...

Hi Jane,
Interesting to know about moon festivals.
We,Cordillerans/Igorots have our moon festivals also which makes our cultural heritage. PLs visit this site:
There are some unreadable characters there so you can also visit this blog:
Have a nice day,