As the full moon emerged in the remote sky, families and friends, bringing their barbecue grills, meat, seafood and vegetables, gathered under the Dazhi Bridge nearby Jilong River, one of major barbecue sites for the Mid-Autumn Festival in Taipei.
Many families came to the barbecue site as early as at 3 p.m. Sunday for preparation. A Taipei citizen surnamed Wu in his sixties brought all his 30 family members to the barbecue.
"Every year, our family come out for barbecue only at the occasion of Mid-Autumn Festival, because the festival is for family reunion," he said.
He also brought some fireworks to celebrate the traditional Chinese festival.
Together with Wu's family, hundreds of people gathered under the bridge for barbecue, an unique scene in Taiwan for the Mid-Autumn festival.
Mooncakes are a traditional delicacy for the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth month on the lunar calendar, or Sept. 12 this year. The round mooncakes resemble the full moon, a symbol of family reunion in traditional Chinese culture as well as the major theme of the Mid-Autumn Festival.
According to some local residents, in the 1980s several barbecue sauce companies competing for the market frequently organized fairs to promote barbecue-related products just before the Mid-Autumn festivals.
Through the intensive promotion campaigns, barbecue eventually became a Mid-Autumn festival custom as important as eating mooncake in Taiwan.
But mooncake and pineapple cake are still popular gifts for the traditional festival in Taiwan. Weeks ahead of the festival, the advertisements for different brands of mooncake and pineapple cake were carried on local newspapers.
Between Ren'ai Road and Xinyi Road in downtown Taipei, there is a weekend flower market becoming one of the options for Taipei citizens to while off the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday.
The flower market with 29-year history is in fact a parking lot during weekdays. But during the weekend, the 1.5-hectare area becomes one of the biggest flower markets in Taipei, with about 300 booths selling flowers and plants.
A flower seller, surnamed Yang, said the number of buyers increased significantly on Saturday and Sunday, the first two days of the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday and the sales rose by nearly 30 percent.
The flower market also held an agricultural product fair on Sept. 10-12, on which tea, fruits and other agricultural products are sold.