Preparations for Golden Week 10/2017
The last week has been a busy and exciting one at Changqing Reserve. Everyone has been preparing for the ‘Golden Week’ holiday – from the Director to the girls who work in the hotel where I live. Similar to the night before Christmas, you can feel the festival atmosphere ready to burst forth.
Experiencing festivals in China is amazing and energising – and has made me all too aware of the lack of tradition and folk law that I have as a white Australian. While we celebrate, among other days, the Queen of England’s birthday (Queens Birthday), the labour union movement resulting in an 8 hour workday (Labour Day), and a famous horse race??!! (The Melbourne Cup) – China celebrates romantic events such as the drowning of a patriotic poet (Dragon Boat Festival), the fateful night when a beautiful young girl ascended to the moon (Mid-Autumn Festival) and a day in spring when families join together to attend to the graves of deceased relatives (Tomb Sweeping Day). These festivals are full of history, story telling, special festival foods, firecrackers and fireworks, concerts and a sense of community and family that is an experience hard convey in words.
The Golden Week holiday we are currently preparing for is from October 1-7 and this year will include both the 60th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and also the Mid-Autumn Festival. Due to it being a very popular time for domestic travel (not for the faint hearted!), the Changqing Reserve staff working in Huayang will be too busy managing the Reserve and the influx of tourists to go home to their families. However we did receive a beautiful box full of delicious moon cakes, and also had a staff concert a couple of evenings ago featuring traditional songs and dances (including yours truly doing a dreadful rendition of ‘You are my sunshine’…hopefully not recorded and if so never to see the light of day, pardon the pun!)
If the weather during this holiday period is good, based upon last years figures there is the potential for us to be receiving as many as 2,000 Chinese tourists – approximately half our annual visitation in only one week! This of course presents problems with respect to eco-tourism and requires very careful planning and management. Preparation undertaken by staff here over the last few weeks has included signage construction (both large advertisement signs and small information signs), rubbish collection and positioning of temporary bins, road refurbishment, publishing of a new brochure, development of an information video, and perhaps most importantly communication to all staff of specific holiday procedures (such as safety patrolling, traffic management, police presence etc.). We look forward to receiving visitors here at Changqing, helping them to understand and briefly experience wild china and managing them as best we can during this week.
Happy Golden Week!
Note: I would like to make a formal apology for some incorrect information stated in my first blog posting. I am in fact 29, not 28 … I assure you, this slip-up was not intentional, however may reveal the depth of my denial leading to my 30th birthday!