Happy Chinese New Year!

Today is Chinese New Year’s Eve, and I went to Nanmen Market to do some holiday shopping and had a relaxing start to my 6 day holiday. It was quite festive in Taipei, with many people burning paper money, lots of activity in the temples, and red lanterns hanging from the trees. However, Taipei feels quite deserted during CNY because everyone went down South, where a lot of people are from. Most people in Taipei are only here for work, but their real homes are in other cities.

Also, it is a tradition for wives to go back to their parents’ homes the day after CNY. That is because according to Chinese tradition, daughters who marry end up living with their husbands’ families, which is often far away from their parents. The only time they will get to see their parents and relatives is during CNY. The tradition still exists, even though many wives see their parents multiple times a year. :)

Another tradition is that on the eve of Chinese New Year, relatives gather around the dinner table and enjoy family dinner with immediate and extended family. We didn’t have a fancy dinner though, and it was just with immediate family (mom, dad, sister, me). We’re going to visit grandma tomorrow and say Happy New Year to grandma, uncle, and my new aunt-in-law! (Yep, my uncle got married last Saturday! Congrats to the happy couple~)

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Moon Festival BBQ

Yesterday I attended my first moon festival BBQ as is, of course, Taiwan tradition. First, we went to a supermarket to get ingredients and supplies. I picked my favourite: bacon! We got a bunch of other things too, including sausages, pork, mushrooms, baby corn, and sweet potato… and also a piece of salmon. Nobody’s ever BBQ’d salmon in our group, but we thought it’d be fun to give it a shot!

We ended up getting a LOT of food. I find that’s always the case with BBQs.. There’s always leftovers.

There is a typhoon near Taiwan this weekend, so it was pouring buckets half the time. Thank goodness we had the BBQ on Cola’s rooftop, where there was a covered roof. Otherwise we would’ve been drenched and the BBQ would have to be cancelled.

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Not only was there food, there was also entertainment: a projector set up, with a nice sound system. Cola played his US top 40 hits playlist, Milktea and I got to share pictures from our Hokkaido trip, and later on we used the projector to play pictionary. There were many epic drawings (ex. Anne Hathaway, SK II…) and it was overall hilarious fun. The team that lost was filmed doing 3 minutes to a Korean exercise video, complete with bootie shakes! To end off the night, we watched a Hong Kong horror movie that wasn’t too scary (thank goodness!), which disappointed the guys.

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And of course I couldn’t resist bringing out my Polaroid camera for the occasion. First Moon Festival BBQ in Taiwan, good food and good fun! I had so much food this weekend but because of the typhoon, not enough exercise! Time to start looking into gym memberships…

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

It’s the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival today, and it’s the first time I’m spending it with family in 10+ years. I’m spending the day at my grandma’s place over lunch and moon cake.

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Yum! Grandma prepared all my favourites.

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These moon cakes are from CF! :) They’re really delicious. I like them better than the traditional HK-style moon cakes.

In Taiwan, people celebrate this festival by having moon cake, pomelo (Chinese Yuzu) fruit, and BBQ. They also look at the full moon. Unfortunately because of the typhoon, we won’t be able to see the moon tonight. I’m planning to BBQ tomorrow though! Going to enjoy the four day long weekend before going back to the grind on Monday.

Wishing everyone a happy Chinese Mid-autumn (moon) Festival!

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