MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL 2013 – 中秋节2013

Back to blogging…finally…whilst the dust starts to settle in recovery kingdom (another three and a half weeks to go) and my body attempts, very slowly, to catch up with my head. Read my previous blog post here if you don’t know why I’m currently on a partial hiatus from all things Rachel. This is a belated post about the recent Mid-Autumn Festival! 快乐的中秋节 (kuàilè de zhōngqiū jié) – 中(mid) 秋(autumn) 节(festival) – apparently that time of year has come and gone again…that time to bring people together, to celebrate the harvest and change in season brought about by the moon…the full moon…a time for harmony (that playful Chinese word with double meaning) and unity…with mooncake 月饼 (yuèbǐng) obviously.  A great article on the folklore of the mooncake can be read here.

During the week of surgery kingdom, I had a little supper get together with a few local friends at my house to celebrate, which meant a needed trip the day before to my local Chinese supermarket – Wing Lee – in Stoke-on-Trent. I love wandering up and down the aisles there, looking at familiar and unknown edibles, getting lost in the partially understandable Mandarin chatter between the shop assistants, shoppers and roaming children…and the colour…I forgot how colourful the food is out there. I miss China. I got a few of my favourite treats…brown rice noodles, custard buns, red bean buns, tofu and chive dumplings, red bean mooncake and some Japanese mochi…not forgetting my favourite coconut, and ginger and coconut, hard sweets. It made me nostalgic, thinking back to all the other Mid-Autumn festivals I’ve ever experienced over the years between Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin (all in China) and the UK (see the links)…and how things have changed and developed since then to where I am today. So, so much has happened. At the supermarket, my basic potted Mandarin Chinese language skills got me a few food freebies that day, which made me proud…so, so proud…it’s all in my brain somewhere, I just need to bring it to the fore. I’ve decided when my PhD is done, focus will shift towards learning Mandarin Chinese…I think. It’s one decision and commitment I need to make. I never do things by halves that’s for sure.

For Mid-Autumn festival supper, my Mom kindly made split pea with chunky ham soup (my second favourite soup to her legendary leek and potato), accompanied by locally baked rye bread, with some of the Chinese red bean mooncake and Japanese red bean mochi for dessert…with a million cups of tea obviously. These Chinese occasions are becoming more and more part of my life…ritualistic somehow…referential too. And it marked so much more this year with my impending surgery kingdom on the following Friday. Here’s to the special people who are part of my life…near and far. 快乐的中秋节! It’s time to make marks within the dust that’s settling…marks that will form signs, signs of the future that’s to come…















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