Holidays in Suzhou

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October 3rd 2009
Published: October 3rd 2009
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Jim has time off for the Chinese holidays, so we are spending some time in Suzhou, which is a couple of hours from Nanqiao. Although, with the holiday traffic, it took us almost 3 hours to get here!
The Chinese are celebrating their National Holiday and this year marks 60 years since the People's Republic of China was established, so it's a big deal to them.
They also have time off for their Mid-Autumn Festival. Sometimes this is called the Moon or Mooncake Festival. This is supposedly the time of the year that the moon looks the biggest. I saw this in a booklet I picked up:
"During the Yuan Dynasty, the Mongols came and took over China. The former Chinese leaders ordered special Moon Festival cakes . They put secret messages about their attack plan into the cakes and distributed them to everyone. The hated Mongols were defeated and the Ming Dynasty began. People still eat moon cakes today to commemorate this event."
I have had a couple of people tell me that the traditional mooncakes don't taste good, but everyone still buys them. Sounds kind of like fruitcake at Christmastime in the USA. One lady told me that children all go to visit their parents, and that you ALWAYS take mooncakes to them at this time of year. We were given some from Jim's work and he tasted the cake part, but didn't like it. Each one has a salted duck egg in the middle (it looked like a cooked carrot) which he wouldn't touch!
There are Chinese flags everywhere and many big floral displays. We have seen drummers at two different places on the street. One group is right at the corner of our hotel and when they play, even on the 20th floor with the windows closed, you can faintly hear the drums!
We are staying at the Holiday Inn Jasmine Suzhou, much nicer than Holiday Inns in the USA! We have enjoyed the breakfast buffet, but aren't crazy about their Western restaurant and the Chinese restaurant doesn't even have English on the menu - and NO pictures!

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14



Breakfast in the Executive Lounge
view from roomview from room
view from room

This is part of the main canal that goes around Suzhou
view from roomview from room
view from room

If you look at this picture larger, you will see the North Temple Pagoda in the distance. This is the same pagoda I wrote about and photographed last trip from the Humble Administrators Garden, just from the opposite direction.
Embridery picture in loungeEmbridery picture in lounge
Embridery picture in lounge

Beautiful close up!

7th October 2009

Another wow!
I sure hope my comments went through on your post about the opera, etc., and the garden. :-) Leah looks like the executive in this blog. haha Mooncake and Fruitcake....too funny. Have they ever heard of Moonpies? No duck eggs in the middle, but they may be tastier. ;-) Loving the blogs!!! xoxo Carol (and John)
7th October 2009

Mooncakes vs moonpies!
Yes, I'm sure that the moonpies are tastier! Shall I bring you a mooncake to decide for yourself?????? Glad you're enjoying the blogs again, but this is the only comment I see from you. Tell John we said "Hi"

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