Chinese have returned from their National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival holiday which saw a record increase in the number of people traveling and a large numbers sightseeing across China.
Traveling from the metallic silver-grey of Beijing South Train Station to the concrete of Shanghai Hongqiao Train Station through the green countryside, the excitement on travelers faces is evident as couples, families with children and solo travelers queue to board their trains.
Upon arrival, the Shanghai scenery is as spectacular as ever. In daytime, visitors are treated to vivid light blue skies above towering metal skyscrapers, set against the deep blue of the water.
The joy of enjoying the holiday after the events earlier in the year is evident, as crowds throng ‘the Bund’ in Shanghai’s Pudong district. Some there just to enjoy the scenery, others to enjoy a light show at night as green-and-blue neon beams criss-cross from Shanghai tower across the wharf.
Below, shops along Nanjing Pedestrian Road do a roaring trade while lively crowds bustle along the famous shopping street to and from the waterside. Further downtown, crowds gather to try Shanghai’s food delicacies by the rust-red brick buildings of Tianzi Fang marketplace, including famous sweet ‘white rabbit’ candy.
But National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival holiday is not just about travelling.
For most people, the break represents a chance to relax with family, to appreciate the amber yellow falling leaves, cooler weather, and of course, to eat some delicious golden mooncakes. Families who are apart during most of the year can become ‘whole’ again during the Mid-Autumn Festival, the start of which also coincides with the waxing of the full moon.
For many, this year’s National Day holiday was the first chance to see their families since Spring Festival. Most families in China spent 2020’s Spring Festival indoors due to quarantine restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Therefore it was with great joy and relief that families in China greeted each other this year.
One Chinese summed up her feelings about this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival.
‘I think the Mid-Autumn Festival is a reunion festival. If I were closer to home, I would definitely go to see my parents in Xi’an. Of course, you can also rest. It’s good to be able to travel again. I feel very happy and glad that I’m in China,’ said Bonnie Xu, of Shenzhen.