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People go beyond home and tradition to celebrate Mid-Autumn Day

THE luminous full moon is always faithful to be there when Mid-Autumn Day falls, but Chinese people are going beyond their home and tradition to observe the festival that boasts a history of thousands of years.

Wang Jiayue, 26, celebrated the festival yesterday with her family at a lakeside resort that was 70 kilometers away from her home in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province.

"We ate moon cakes while drifting on the tranquil lake glistening with the silver moonlight. That was a perfect place to enjoy the moon," she said.

Traditionally, Mid-Autumn Day, as a festival for family reunion like the Spring Festival, is always observed at home, eating moon cakes, but in recent years, creative young people are going to various places in a hope to make the holiday a poetic, romantic and more joyous occasion, partly thanks to the government's decision to make the festival a public holiday.

More than 10,000 travelers yesterday gathered at Tianshan Grand Canyon, 40 km from Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, where they rode horses by the canyon's serene Swan Lake in the day and climbed onto the mountain to gain a closer view of the bright moon at night.

"I enjoyed very much the day when we looked at the golden grassland surrounded by numerous mountains, and it seemed that we were also having a day of the idyllic life of local Kazkhstan herdsmen," said Wang Jianfeng, a tourist.

"And it is so peaceful sitting here to wait for the night to fall and the moon to shine," he added.

Many people in east Fujian Province chose to spend the day in Taiwan. Xiamen Travel Agency in Xiamen City alone organized more than 50 tourist groups to Taiwan for the holiday.

In Fuzhou, the provincial capital, about 40 percent of the group tours were Taiwan-bounded.

The Sun and Moon Lake in Taiwan was a good place to enjoy the full moon, said Jia Ronglin, general manager of Fujian Tourism Company.


Young people are showing little appetite to moon cakes, a must on the Mid-Autumn Day menu. To cater to this group of picky consumers, bakeries, have in recent years introduced diversified-flavor, and usually expensive, moon cakes.

"Actually few young people like moon cakes, but, anyhow, we have to have some as it is a day for that," said Zhang Chao, a young man in Hohhot, capital of northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. He was buying moon cakes at a supermarket.

"So, I prefer small moon cakes. Larger ones or those with delicate packing are too much for me," says Zhang.

For some, they would rather give uneatable "cakes" to their friends.

E-moon cakes are becoming popular among Chinese Internet users.

"Such a moon cake carries as much affection as the traditional edible cakes to my friends, as I have made it with my own hand," said Wang Yue, a student at Shandong University in east China's Jinan City.

An e-moon cake also requires a process of stuffing, baking and packing, but those are done with clicks of the mouse.

There are still people, however, who keep their faith to the traditional flavor of the festival food.

Every day since mid September, Li Shifu has been seeing long queues in front of his bakery in Hohhot.

People queued to wait for Li's moon cakes, which they said were simple but delicious.

Li, his wife and three employees have been busy making moon cakes for more than half a month, and sometimes they can not rest until midnight.


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