I can't believe that Mid-Autumn day was a whole month ago – I swear time goes quicker in China than it does anywhere else! So anyway, here's a little belated post about this mini-holiday.
Mid-Autumn day (held on 19th September this year) celebrates, well, mid-autumn, and it's a day where everyone eats moon cakes (which by the way, I am not impressed with...sorry China!) and gets together to celebrate. But there's also a legend behind Mid-Autumn day – this is the story, nearly word for word, that I was told by my friend Holly (who is Chinese by the way...), prepare to be utterly amazed by this Chinese tale...
There once was a woman who lived on the moon with a load of rabbits. A man from earth looked up at the moon and fell in love with her. Mid-Autumn day is the only day of the year when he can travel up to the moon and see his love, and to celebrate, the Chinese eat moon cakes and give moon cakes to their lovers. The end.
So, despite the fact I wasn't given all the specifics, it's still a very sweet story! Though, if my love gave me a box of moon cakes now, I'd probably be more likely to throw the box out than eat them....
Anyway, we all got two days off work to celebrate this festival (although, in the end, it turned out we didn't really get two days off at all, as we had to work two Sundays in a row to make up for it...). So on the day itself, me and Holly went to the Yonghe Lama Temple, which was quite impressive – it would have been a great place to relax and be at peace and whatnot, if there hadn't been a load of tourists milling around the temple, on account of the holiday. Ah well, I enjoyed seeing a Buddhist temple at any rate! We went out for a meal with James at night, and although the food was very spicy, it was ok!
The next day, I didn't do much during the day, but I met up with Holly and Matt at night and we went out to a bar in Wudaokou, called Windows. I think it was mainly an ex-pat kind of bar, but the food was good and they gave you free big bottles of beer, so no complaints there!
On the Saturday, me and James went to Yuyuantan Park – we finally found it after getting lost for a good hour or so, but it was worth it in the end. Although the park was so huge, I don't know how we missed it in the first place! The park has over 3,000 cherry trees, and it holds a Cherry Blossom festival every Spring – if I'm still here when the weather warms up, I'll definitely be going to check it out!
So that's it! It was nice to get a bit of a break from work, and I enjoyed seeing a few more sights that Beijing has to offer – it's just a shame that in China, you have to make up any days you have off by working at the weekends! But ah well, that's China for you!
Until next time,