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Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Loud Side of the Moon


Despite the seemingly sour expression on my daughter's face, Amber found this "Water Flow Clock", located in front of the National Botanical Gardens (guólì zhíwùyuán) 國立植物園 in T'aichung (Tái​zhōng) 台中 to be extremely fascinating. The two of us spent the afternoon playing Frisbee and catch on the grass there, with Amber using her bike to get around (hence the helmet).

The three biggest national holidays in Taiwan are the Chinese Lunar New Year (nóng​lì​xīn​nián) 農曆新年 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Lunar_New_Year; the Dragon Boat Festival (lóng​chuánjié) 龍船節 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_Boat_Festival, held on the Fifth day of the Fifth lunar month; and the Moon Festival, aka the Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhōng​qiū​jié) 中秋節 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_Festival, which falls on the Fifteenth day of the Eighth lunar month. This year, that date is on Monday, September 12, which means next weekend will be a three-day affair. However, it seems today many people have gotten a head start on the celebrations, despite the fact the moon in tonight's sky is still of the crescent variety. As I'm typing this, my apartment complex is holding a full-scale Moon Festival party outside our building, complete with barbecues, singing (karaoke カラオケ has to be the most unfortunate Japanese export), contests and, of course, noise. In Chinese culture generally, and in Taiwan specifically, nothing can ever be observed in a quiet manner. Next weekend is going to be much worse, however - all the firecrackers going off are going to make the landscape sound like a war zone, while all the barbecues will generate so much smoke that the moon will struggle to be seen. That is, if anyone ever bothers to look up at the sky during that time.

We passed by this temple procession on the way home this evening. Note the cloud of smoke being generated from exploding firecrackers.

I'm quite pleased with the way this photograph, taken from the roof of our apartment building after we got home, turned out.

Amber on the roof, checking out the party downstairs. And, no, that isn't a crucifix she's holding - it's an "airplane".

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