3 Tales of the Moon Festival and Why Taiwanese Are Crazy for Barbecue Tonight
All thanks to a lady, lumberjack and rabbit on the moon.
In Taiwan, the highlight on the Moon Festival is to have barbecue with friends and family.
Why does barbecue have to do with the moon?
This almost unbreakable tradition on the Moon Festival is, actually, not a part of the tradition at all. It's due to a poor-selling product and a ridiculously successful sauce ad.
Calm, calm, I know. But before we dive into this shocked news, let's dive first into three origins of Moon Festival.
1. Chang-O's flying to the moon
Chang-O was the wife of an ancient Chinese hero, Hou-Yi, who turned into a tyrant after having power in his control.
One day, Chang-O heard that her husband was searching for the method of being immortal. She decided to save the people by stealing the medicine right after he got the immorality medicine.
She sneaked into the room, unlocked the box and swallow the pill. Feeling lighter and higher, Chang-O flied in to the sky and ended up landing into the palace on the moon.
People were very sorrowful and grateful after knowing Chang-O's sacrifice. Thus, they started to worship Chang-O by praying her with food and flowers.
2. Wu-Kong's chopping the laurel tree on the moon
Wu-Kong was a magic-arts apprentice of a godlike guru.
One day, he made a blunder and was cast onto the moon. To punish him, Wu-Kong was asked to cut the laurel tree until it was knocked down.
However, that was a magical tree that could recover immediately once it got a crack.
So until now, Wu-Kong is still slashing at the tree on the moon. (Hmm, sounds like Sisyphus in Greek mythology!)
3. Jade Rabbit's grinding the medicine on the moon
Once again upon a time, there were 3 gods in the disguise of old men. Wandering in a forest, they asked a fox, monkey and rabbit for food.
The fox and the monkey found some food for them later, but the rabbit couldn't. So guilty was the rabbit that it decided to jumped into the fire and contribute its own flesh.
The gods were touched by the rabbit's action. Hence, they sent the rabbit to the moon and designated it to make the immoral medicine with Chong-O.
Why Are Taiwanese Crazy for Barbecue on Moon Festival?
Well, this is all due to a successful barbecue sauce ad.
There used to be two soybean sauce companies competing against each other. One year around the Moon Festival, these two companies released the barbecue sauce ad at the same time and kept promoting on the TV.
Coincidentally, some big supermarkets like Carrefour and RT-Mart started to sell the barbecue tools during Mid-Autumn Festival. Thus, Taiwanese started the mania of having a barbecue on the Moon Festival every year.
One of them created a well-known line in their ad: “One Family Barbecue, Millions of Families Can Smell It.”
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