Mooncakes and Autumn Holidays

2 Oct

Sunday evening was the celebration of Mid-Autumn Festival – 中秋节 which this year backs up against the Chinese National Day holidays.  This means that I have eight days off – Sunday through Sunday to do what I will.

The moon has been visible each night last week as I walked home from work – waxing to its zenith on Sunday.  If I were a professional photographer I would take a photo, but I’m not so I try to mentally remember the full moon rising over the new/old mixture that is Shanghai.  There is one place on my walk home where on a clear evening I can see the lights of the skyscrapers of Pudong along with the moon beams.  What the moon has seen over the last forty years…

The “golden weeks” are a lovely gift – a part of the Chinese culture that I very much appreciate because during those holidays people really stop working.  Offices are closed, out of office responses are common and most of the world goes traveling, enjoying the lovely fall weather that seems to coat the country.

That is, most people except me are going traveling.

With the move a couple of week ago and the apartment search before that I never got around to booking tickets and by the time I started researching everything was very, very expensive.  No matter – a week off is a week off and we’ll see how I spend this luxurious week in such an intriguing city.

Prior to the holidays though there is a wonderful time with lots of gifts and good cheer and mooncakes!  I wrote about mooncakes last year as I was just starting my blog.  This year the vendor community has been even more innovative in their gifts.  In the last two weeks I’ve had gifts of cheese cakes, fruit, ice cream, small tarts and of course the traditional mooncakes.  There were so many sweets in the office that people started turning them down and we shared our bounty with other departments who were not so happily situated.

Chinese/French/Japanese tarts – yum!

I didn’t take a photo of the traditional cakes this year, but this lovely assortment of small tarts brightened my day.  The giver in this case was an insurance company – the bakery was Japanese and the technique appears to me to be French.  Globalization at its best.

My second favorite Mid-Autumn Festival tradition is truly an employee benefit (included in our company policy).  HR provides each employee with a Haagen Daz gift voucher which includes a chocolate ice cream mooncake and several other ice cream goods.  Localization of an international product – and truly a yummy gift!

If you had a week off when work would not call on you – where would you go?  If you had to give a gift to celebrate Moon Festival – what would you give?

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day!

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10 Responses to “Mooncakes and Autumn Holidays”

  1. Anne October 2, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    A long distance hug 🙂

    You might find this interesting! :
    http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/harvest-moon-2

    • gkm2011 October 2, 2012 at 10:03 am #

      Great link! Hugs back. Miss you.

  2. expatlingo October 2, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    It’s been a fabulous long weekend here in Hong Kong. The moon has been beautiful and the weather has finally cooled off! I hope you enjoy the rest of your week off (we’re back to school/work tomorrow down here).

    • gkm2011 October 2, 2012 at 10:11 am #

      Fall is my favorite time in Asia. Rest assured the holiday will not be wasted!

  3. Kristin October 2, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    Looks scrumptious!
    I miss the turning of the seasons here, especially spring and fall.
    When I have a few days off, I often enjoy experiencing my city as if I were a tourist and do stuff I normally never do like taking a city tour or exploring new parts of the town. Enjoy your holiday!

    • gkm2011 October 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

      That’s exactly the plan! Today went to a part of the city I’ve never seen before. 🙂

  4. eof737 October 3, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    Delicious! Yummm 🙂

    • gkm2011 October 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

      Easy on the eyes and taste buds. 🙂

  5. Amy October 14, 2012 at 2:08 am #

    How nice to receive the gift voucher from the HR. 🙂

    • gkm2011 October 14, 2012 at 8:34 am #

      Yes – it’s actually an employee benefit written into our labor contracts. Who’d have thought?

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