Mid-Autumn Festival, which took place on Thursday, is also called the Moon Festival, and from the name, you can probably guess that this holiday celebrates the moon. We both had the day off from work, so we relaxed at home, then went out to dinner and to the grocery store. On our way to the grocery store, we saw tons of people milling around our campus looking at the moon (which was a little hard to find with all the city lights).
One of the traditions on Mid-Autumn Festival is to eat mooncakes. There are many flavors of mooncakes. I don't like most of them (rose flavor is my least favorite), but we had some mango-flavored mooncakes this year that were actually quite good.
Chinese people like to get married around special festivals, so there were a lot of fireworks going off over the past four days, including some in front of the hotel on our campus. Those were pretty loud! The moon, mooncakes, fireworks....that's Mid-Autumn Festival!
A weird thing that China does around holidays like this one is to give people a "day off" but then have them make up their day off on the following or previous weekend. For example, last week, I didn't have to work on Thursday (the actual day of Mid-Autumn Festival) or Friday, but I had to teach my Friday classes yesterday (on Sunday). In my American opinion, Friday is not really a day off, and I'd kind of prefer it if they'd just not give us the "day off" that's not really a day off. However, after more than 2 years in China, I'm starting to get used to the strange "day off" system. When we first came to China, I could not believe that anyone would actually show up on a Saturday or Sunday to make up a "day off." I was shocked when all of my students showed up the first time I had to teach a make-up class on a Sunday!