Gambling for Mooncakes in Kinmen
Having been under Martial law for 43 years, until
1991, much of Kinmen’s original culture has remained
untouched. Classical Minnan houses and temples, southeast
Asian colonial style buildings, military excavated
tunnels, traditional games like the “Gambling for
Mooncakes” contest on Mid Autumn Festival can still
One of the things Kinmen is most famous for is sorghum
liquor, and a great deal of them are aged in ceramic
In the old days, the bottles were handmade.
But now they’re produced in plaster casts.
After the excess liquid clay is slowly drained, the
pots are touched up and dried several times, then
glazed and fired.
But what surprises us is that when sorghum liquor
was first produced in Kinmen, glass bottles were used.
Glass bottles were previously used, but the 1958 Taiwan
Strait Crisis broke out and supplies from Taiwan could
not come in, so a backup plan had to be put in place
and Kinmen produces clay, kaolin clay. Ceramic keeps
out UV rays and make it easier for the liquor to age,
so sorghum liquor from ceramic bottles taste better.
You can drink sorghum liquor straight, or like the
locals, with earthy looking medicinal herbs.
You keep saying you’re going to come back. What are
you going to come back for?
I’m going to photograph every old house on this island.
It’s amazing. The atmosphere is incredible. It’s really
an experience. It’s completely different from the
main island. We have to do another show here.
Ah, that’s a good idea.