Address:No. 2 Wuchuan West Road Section 1, Taichung, Taiwan
In light of the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the four largest festivals in the Chinese-speaking sphere, the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in Taichung will open its doors at nighttime to moon-gazing visitors from Sept. 6 to 8.
Alongside Chinese New Year, the Tomb-Sweeping Festival, and the Dragonboat Festival, Mid-Autumn is one of the most widely celebrated events in traditional Chinese culture. It takes place on the 15th day of the eighth month on the Lunar calendar, when the moon is at its fullest during the entire year. The imagery of the full moon is also a symbol of family reunion.
The practice is said to have begun in the late Sui Dynasty (581 ~ 618 A.D.), when general Pe Ji (裴寂) created the mooncake as a military provision to feed the swelling rebellion army that eventually overturned the Sui rulers and established the Tang Dynasty.
There is another legend associated with the moon, in which a beautiful immortal lady named Chang'e resides on the moon, accompanied only by the moon rabbit. She was the wife of the banished deity Houyi, who lost his place among the gods for shooting down 9 sun-birds to save mankind. Hence, mooncakes are used as offerings at the altar of Chang'e, while the imagery of a white rabbit is often used to represent the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Despite the festival's status as a national holiday, the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts will remain open daily till 9pm during the three-day festivities, and offer activities such as a hands-on printmaking workshop and a nighttime outdoor jazz concert.