Date: November 1, 2015
By: JIM HWANG
Just about any large open space is an acceptable location for a traditional bando feast.
In Chinese culture, no major occasion such as a wedding, funeral or temple fair would be
complete without a banquet. Many people host such feasts at restaurants, while others prefer to arrange traditional bando events.
Bando literally means “to set tables” in Holo, commonly called Taiwanese and the language of Taiwan’s largest ethnic group, and refers to a Taiwanese-style catered feast that is customarily held outdoors. In the countryside, bando banquets, also known as roadside banquets, are often staged in the courtyards of temples or on school playgrounds. In the nation’s cities, where space is limited, the hosts often just temporarily block off part of a street, erect a large tent and set up dining tables for their guests.
The size of bando banquets varies widely from a few to more than 100 tables, each seating eight to 12 people. All of the dishes are prepared by a team of efficient chefs in a temporary kitchen next to the area where the guests sit. Though bando is considered a traditional Taiwanese-style banquet, nowadays the feasts include dishes from Hakka, Japanese and mainland Chinese cuisine. The quantity of food served at these banquets is considerable since hosts often use the money they saved by not renting out a restaurant to offer larger dishes. At the end of the feasts, plastic bags are provided so guests can take home leftovers. [FULL STORY]