We have enjoyed our week off… We experienced the tourist side of the Middle Autumn Festival while…
being in Pudong and the Bund last Sunday and witnessing the massive crowd of people
Out to dinner and a Brazilian Dancing show on Tuesday with other foreign staff and students from the SFU.
This past Wednesday being in the “City Center”
Shanghai Art Museum
Shanghai Urban Development Museum
Renmin (People’s) Square
Getting our first taste of the Chinese Burger King
Finally finding a book store here that sells English books.
Thursday: chillin at the I Love Shanghai Lounge (where everybody knows your name…lol). Then went to Club Show 5; a very, very, very nice club, just no one there.
Today we had plans to visit the Shanghai Aquarium. Jason and I decided to pass this opportunity up in order to have a day of rest so we could wake up and go on a day trip to Suzhou with some of our students and fellow colleagues at the University.
Then David calls…
Q: Wanna play ball then get some dinner to celebrate the holiday?
A: Sure, but what exactly is this holiday and how do you celebrate?
Middle Autumn Festival… The culmination (today)… Middle Autumn Day
Most people in the country have a week off. There is a lot of traveling done by native Chinese, to visit family, or go on vacation. The hotel prices go up, train tickets are scarce, and there are crowds throughout the country.
We play ball then go to the “everything store” to get a few things. During this quick trip, I experienced my first time riding a bike on the street here in Shanghai.
Middle Autumn Day specifically is the day where it is basically mandatory to spend time with your family, eat dinner together, then eat mooncakes and drink green tea. Since David couldn’t go home (too far away) he invited Jason and I to have Holiday Dinner with him.
Dinner time: We meet David and go to a local restaurant. He makes us order the food. And we did a good job… we got what we wanted (with a little help). On the TV was a “Holiday concert” similar to what you may see on TV during Christmas or New Year’s at home. There were large rabbits dancing on the stage as well. We had no clue what the purpose of them were. David tells us this holiday is mostly about spending time with your family; very similar to our Thanksgiving.
We notice other groups of people at the restaurant, and ask why they are not with family. He tells us that they are also in Grad School and are having dinner together since they couldn’t go home either. Interestingly, both the large groups were having very loud and excited conversations about their families and reminiscing with friends since they couldn’t be with their families.
On the way back to the Apartment…
China has green oranges!!! We always thought people were selling limes. We have to look more closely now. David was wondering why we were so fascinated with them, he said they are very normal here and couldn’t believe that we never saw one before.
After dinner we come back to the apartment for the second part of the Traditional celebration of Middle Autumn Day. We had real Chinese green tea and ate mooncakes. We did this while playing chess and listening to Louis Armstrong.
To make green tea:
Get real Chinese green tea leaves
Put some dry leaves in your empty cup (no teabag)
Pour a little hot water in the cup (about an inch high)
Let it sit for at least 15 minutes (the length is up to you)
Then fill the cup up with water
Its always a full moon on Middle Autumn Day
The Festival/Holiday has been around
One fairy tale about the moon. There was a man who had to go away. He left some “medicine” with his girlfriend. She was to take this medicine when she missed him. And it would help her fly to him. He warned her not to take too much at one time. She took too much and flew all the way to the moon and is still trapped on the moon. He says if you look at the moon long enough, you will see the woman. The only thing she has with her on the moon is a rabbit.
The Chinese also give, and regive, and regive, fruitcake at this time!!!
Middle Autumn Festival Info Link