My First Full Day / Mid-Autumn Festival
On Friday, October 6th, I had a light breakfast. My thoughtful hosts had stocked my apartment with bread, milk, water, jelly, coffee, sugar, creamer, apples, bananas and pears for my breakfast. After breakfast I went out to explore the neighborhood and walked a few blocks in each direction. Went through the neighborhood market with stalls selling fruits, vegetables, grains, meats and other items. Went by a temple not far away. The steets were full of small stores and shops of every type.
October 6th was the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival. The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the two most important holidays in the lunar calendar (the other being the Lunar New Year). The Festival falls on the 15th day (a full moon day) of the eighth lunar month. The moon is at its fullest and brightest, making an ideal time to celebrate the abundance of the summer's harvest. The traditional food of this festival is the moon cake of which there are many varieties. See the Wikipedia for a detailed discussion of the Mid-Autumn Festival including the legends behind the festival.
After lunch the YMCA bus picked us up to go to the YMCA Yellow House Orphange in Jintang to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with the children. The orphanage is currently home for sixteen orphans (five boys and eleven girls). One of the parents of these children is dead and the other is unable to care for the child (i.e. disabled or in jail). The orpanage moved to their new facility this fall; it is a former government office complex that includes a wing
of residential and office space (top picture), a dining hall (which the chidren are entering in the second picture), kitchen, a toilet facility, and other spaces for future developement.