Moon Cake Season is what I call China’s Mid-Autumn Festival/National Holiday Week. It falls during the 1st week of October Aside from having classes on the weekend to make up for the holiday we will be getting, it’s a holiday that many people look forward to.
The first reason: It’s an entire week (7 days) of not going to school/work. Apart from Winter and Summer holidays, this is the longest holiday I’ve had so far.
The second reason: This holiday comes 3 or 4 weeks after school has started. So we get a holiday almost right after we come off of Summer holidays.
The third reason: It’s traditional to eat Moon Cakes under the moon on the 15th of October, so people exchange them as gifts and they are sold in almost every shop and bakery. Although many of people don’t like them, I love Moon Cakes. It’s similar to eating Bun and Cheese at Easter, or Christmas Cake during Christmas. There are many varieties, but the more traditional ones are filled with Red-bean Paste, Lotus Seed Paste with a duck’s egg yolk in the middle (the yolk represents the moon), Jujube Paste and Five Kernel Paste (5 types of nuts ground together and mixed with Maltose Syrup).
The fourth reason: It’s a very good opportunity to travel. Last year, I had just come to Beijing, so I was not very familiar with even my immediate surroundings, so I stayed at school the entire week. This year I decided not to let the opportunity to travel pass me by. So for the first 2 days (Monday and Tuesday) of the holiday, I will be going on a Church retreat in the north of Beijing The next 3 days and 3 night will be spent in Inner Mongolia. Inner Mongolia is a part of China, but it’s right underneath Mongolia and is at the northern most part of China. The culture and landscape of Inner Mongolia is more of less the same as Mongolia itself.
I’m excited about the Church retreat, but I’m more excited about the Inner Mongolia trip, because I initiated and planned this trip by myself. I’ll be going with six other people from Norway, Poland, America and Costa Rica. We will spend Wednesday night on the train, arrive on Thursday morning, then spend Thursday night in a tent, leave Friday night and get back to China on Saturday morning.
When I get back, I will tell you all about it.