中秋节

It’s Asian Thanksgiving.

Well, kind of. Wednesday marked Mid-Autumn Festival, which is the second biggest holiday here, coming in behind New Year (or, as it is called here, Spring Festival). Families reunite and friends gather. It’s all about food, fellowship, and a fairly confusing (to me, anyway) ancient myth about an immortal princess who now lives on the moon, separated forever from her true love.

Just as turkey and dressing are synonymous with Thanksgiving in America, here, every year people eat moon cakes to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival. These round cakes look sweet on the outside, but inside are filled with a variety of fillings (egg, bean curd, etc.) that are not particularly appetizing to Western taste buds. Our friends love them, though, and so when we last night invited several  new friends over for dinner, we made sure to hand out moon cakes–one day late, but it’s the thought that counts, right? Although this is an important festival for families, many students hail from far-away provinces; since the term just started, they can’t exactly take a 20+ hour train back home during their two-day school vacation.

We’re on school holiday now, too, although I’d like to insert an asterisk: holiday here means that you get to make up the classes you missed during vacation. Saturday school, here we come.

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