Friday, October 2, 2009

National Day

Yesterday was National Day - the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. There was a huge parade in Beijing (which we watched on TV), about 70% of which was trucks loaded with missiles driving slowly down the street surrounded by thousands of soldiers walking in tight formation. 10% was shots of various government officials (almost all of whom were wearing very large square glasses) clapping politely at the missiles. The other 20% was thousands of young people holding up colored placards in intricately choreographed scenes so that, from the air, they spelled out words and made pictures. It was impressive. And scary.

We stayed home, ordered pizza (caramelized pumpkin and basil) and watched the fireworks from our living room.

This is a big holiday weekend because it's also the Mid-Autumn Festival. This means that everything is decorated with lanterns and people exchange mooncakes - round pastries that are traditionally filled with lotus seed paste or egg yolks. They make tons of varieties now - Kelly and I tried mango and japanese grape. As usual, they were "too weird" for him, but I thought they were really tasty.

Some lanterns around the city:

And the sort of thing you're likely to stumble upon if you wander into a park at this time of year:

You can't tell from the video, but all of those ladies are in their 60s and 70s. They were awesome.

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