Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day

BICF Beijing worship service location at 21st Century Auditorium
On Sunday, we went to church. It was a non-denominational praise and worship service - definitely not a traditional Presbyterian service. It is held in an auditorium. I guess there were at least 500 people there. Good news is they have 2 English services in the morning. The second at a very civilized 11:30 start time. We arrived a little early. I took this shot of the music and stage crew as they finished their preparations for the 11:30 service.
Paifang at Grand Beijing Hotel

On Monday we took a walk down to Tian'anmen Square in the afternoon. I took this shot of the paifang or gate at one of the hotels along the way.

History of Paifang

Late afternoon light on trees near the Forbidden City

I thought the light was nice on the these trees near the Forbidden City.
Port-a-potties in buses in Beijing

Take a closer look. These are port-a-potties. Once the National Day events are over they will drive these away.

I didn't go in but they look pretty nice.
Tian'anmen during National Day 2012

Here is a shot of the Gate of Heavanly Peace or Tian'anmen. Some disagree with that translation and suggest that Gate of Heavenly Peacemaking is more accurate. It is not actually the entrance to the Forbidden City, either, but rather the entrance to the Imperial City of which the Forbidden City is a subset. You can get a sense of the crowds this week.

The gate has been rebuilt several times over the years because of wars, fires, and just renovations. You can learn more here.

Tian'anmen on Wikipedia
Tian'anmen Square from near the National Museum at National Day 2012

This is a picture of Tian'anmen Square from the east side. That is Mao's mausoleum on the left and the Great Hall of the People on the right. We didn't go across the street because we didn't want to wait in line. They were sending people through in batches - maybe to control the crowd size or maybe to just keep the lines under better control. I'll post some much better pictures of the flower displays later in the week.

Margot in front of Tian'anmen Gate

Margot agreed to pose for me with Tian'anmen in the background.

Again, the sun is on the wrong side of the display from this location. Better pictures in a few days.

Here is a link from a visit to Tain'anmen Square this past spring.

Tian'anmen Square

They spend a lot of effort to pretty the place up for National Day. Not surprising given how popular a destination it is. Judging by the number of people studying the subway maps there are a lot of out-of-town visitors.
Police on duty at near Tian'anmen Square on National Day 2012

Remember how I mentioned that these guys tend to stare you down if you are looking at them. Well, they are sure eyeballin' somebody in this shot.

I need to get someone to explain the different police and army units so I can understand them better. I think these are Army or maybe paramilitary police. They are always impeccably dressed and carry themselves very professionally although the guy on the right might get a demerit for his diagonal strap.

Along with the standard issue haircut these guys must get humor-ectomy, also. I have yet to see one smile.

Click to enlarge.
Linda at Tony's Tailor Shop in Silk Market in Beijing.

That same afternoon we went down to the Silk Market to pick up a suit and shirts I had made.

This is Linda. I've been doing business with her for several years.

Margot has ordered a couple of blouses. We'll see how they turn out in a few days.
Remodeled shops at the Silk Market in Beijing

They have remodeled the interior of the market. There are fewer, larger shops with more room inside. You still have to negotiate but allegedly the quality is a little better and the prices a little higher. Frankly, a little of the experience is missing now, although the ladies in the basement purse shops are still pretty aggressive.

Sunday was the Mid-Autumn festival. This falls on the full moon of the eighth lunar month. I think there must have been a leap month this year because it is unusually late.

The holiday is celebrated with mooncakes. This is a set (one already eaten) given to me by SSTPC.

Learn more here -- > Mooncake Festival

Here is an attempt to capture the full moon in context. It was too high in the sky by the time I went out to get a really good picture.
Oriental Plaza at night

Here is a shot of Oriental Plaza at night. That ramp in the lower-center is actually a bicycle underpass that redirects bikes under the sidewalk and fountains at the front of the buildings.

This shot is a little further down the block looking into the center of the complex at the Hyatt Hotel.

Chang'An Avenue and the Beijing Hotel at night
This shot is looking down Chang'An Avenue toward Tian'anmen Square. The hotel on the right is the Beijing Hotel. The iconic picture of the tank guy from the Tian'anmen demonstrations was taken from one of the balconies.

Learn more here --> Tian'anmen 1989
Warning some of the pictures are pretty graphic.

Crowds on Wangfujing on National Day 2012

On a lighter note this is the crowd on Monday evening on Wangfujng street. Very crowded. We didn't even try to go into the snack street area. People were lined up to get in.

1 comment:

  1. Bob wants to get a suit while there. Maybe we can visit Linda right away when we get there so there will be time to get it made????