為什麼中秋節要吃柚子?背後原因曝讓外籍人士秒懂

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<p>As Taiwanese gear up to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival, here’s what to know about the heavily-featured fruit during this time of year– pomelos. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)</p>

As Taiwanese gear up to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival, here’s what to know about the heavily-featured fruit during this time of year– pomelos. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

【看CP學英文】剛來台灣不久的外籍人士即將於今年九月迎接第一個台式中秋節,然而雖然大部分的人可能有聽說過中秋節的由來和為什麼該吃月餅,當聽到在中秋節期間要吃柚子和讓孩子將柚子皮戴在頭上應該會讓許多人感到匪夷所思。

If you’ve just settled in Taiwan, you’re going to be celebrating your first “Taiwanese Mid-Autumn Festival” in September.

Although most of you probably know the origin story behind this festival and the reason why we eat moon cakes, some might be surprised upon hearing of another tradition of eating pomelos, and seeing children don their peels on their heads may bring about some questions.

所以中秋節到底跟柚子有什麼關係呢?統整網上資訊可見,大部分的解釋都和諧音有關。中文字裡,「柚」和保佑的「佑」字有相同的音,而柚子的盛產期又恰巧在中秋節前後,因此台灣人將這水果納入慶祝此節慶的應節食物之一,希望在這個家庭團聚的節日中,可以保佑全家人。

So, what does Mid-Autumn Festival have to do with pomelos? According to various sources, the most common explanations lie in the pronunciation of the fruit in Mandarin.

In the Chinese language, the first character for pomelos sounds like the second character in the Chinese characters for “bless.”

Given that pomelos are also in season during the festival, there is little wonder that many have taken to adding the fruit as a “must-eat” this time of year, in the hopes that as family members gather together, they can be “blessed together.”

除此之外,也有人表示「柚子」因為和「遊子」的音雷同,中秋節也正是一個全家團圓節慶,在國外的遊子當然也會回家,因此也成了一個吉祥的代表。

Besides this, many also say that pomelos also sound like the Chinese character for those living or traveling overseas, far away from home.

As the Mid-Autumn Festival is a time for families to get together, relatives will usually take the time to journey home and celebrate; thus, pomelos serve as a lucky symbolism for their safe return home.

Pomelos also serve as a way for wishing a safe return home for family members living abroad. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)
Pomelos also serve as a way for wishing a safe return home for family members living abroad. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

更有人認為柚子和「有子」的音相近,吃柚子就算是討一個好彩頭,隱含著早生貴子的寓意。

Some also believe that pomelos sound like “having children” in Chinese, which means that when you eat them, it will be seen as good luck and a wish for expecting family members to have a child soon.

至於為什麼要將柚子皮頂在頭上呢?有人認為因為柚子與「佑子」聽起來雷同,將剝完的柚子皮戴在孩子的頭上可以保佑孩童,期許未來都能平平安安,快樂成長。

As for why children wear the pomelo skin (or peels) on their heads? The most common answer lies in the sound of the Chinese characters again.

Pomelos are also pronounced similarly to “bless children” in Chinese, which is why adults place the pomelo skins on children’s heads to protect them from evil and wish for their safety and happiness.

然而,專家也提醒,即便看起來可愛,過節期間不應讓家中的毛小孩配戴柚子皮,而若要讓孩子戴柚子帽,也應控制好時間,不應過久。其主要原因為柚子皮中含有柑桔精油和補骨脂素,光只是接觸到,就可能造成毛小孩不適,而柚子皮若接觸到孩子的皮膚恐生成咖啡色班點,釀皮膚發炎。

One thing to note of that tradition is though it looks adorable, experts call on the public every year to ask them not to place pomelo skins on pets while adding that if children are to wear them, it shouldn’t be for too long.

The main reason is pomelo skins contain citrus oil and Psoralen. Direct contact with human skin could prove harmful to pets and make them dangerously sick.

If pomelo skins are placed for too long on children’s heads, brown spots may appear after extended contact, resulting in skin inflammation.

Experts advise against putting pomelo peels on pets as it is harmful to them. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)
Experts advise against putting pomelo peels on pets as it is harmful to them. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

因此,今年與親朋好友過節的同時,也別忘了上述的小叮嚀!

So, don’t forget to watch out for the above-mentioned while celebrating the holiday with friends and family this year in Taiwan.

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