Travelling to the Moon
Mooncake Saves Company
Mid-Autumn Festival Sept. 6th-8th, is basically a time for families to reunite. Sept 8th is a 1 day reunion that could be compared to a Chinese version of American Thanksgiving!!! Big family dinner followed by evening strolls admiring the moon together while eating Moon Cakes! JUST LIKE HOME!?!?
Moon Festival is a major time to show appreciation in current relationships or to recognize past relationships. We let the important people in our lives know we still care and wish to keep the relationship close and strong, or we would like to invest more in the relationship for the future. You may be invited to a local’s home and if so, which may indicate that your relationship is very close or very valuable to the local.
Most state owned companies, large corporation, and schools will observe the holiday on Monday, so the streets may be busy. Local stores and shops may be open and banks may be operating with skeleton crews for normal transactions.
NO INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTIONS OR EXCHANGE is normally available.
Many people will be travelling during the holiday. Occurrences of petty crime (usually pick pocketing) and other such incidents might happen more commonly. Make sure your valuables are in a safe place:
- Please keep your belongings within eyesight and within arm’s reach in front of you.
- Broken car windows are not uncommon. Items kept in a car should be taken out when unattended, put in the trunk or hidden well.
- Be aware of large groups of tightly packed people, i.e. public transportation and stations, lines, entrances and exits to buildings, etc. Supermarket or mall entrance with winter weather curtains are often places where crimes occur.
If you are a victim of pick pocketing and are aware of the thief, DO NOT MAKE PHYSICAL CONTACT AS THEY NORMALLY WORK IN GROUPS. If they feel threatened, violence is possible but not probable. Just confront and acknowledge that you are aware of the robbery and ask for the item or items back. Be persistent but not threatening. Thieves have been known to return items in the past. Consider keeping a paper and digital copy of your passport on your person (not in a purse or bag or wallet) in case of any emergency (like always).
Make sure your home is well-protected if you plan on being away. Lock all the doors and windows, and if possible, have someone (friend or ayi) check in on your apartment consistently.
Watch out for firecrackers/fireworks on the road and coming from the sky. Often times they are tossed out of windows. Also keep windows closed in case of airborne fireworks and to manage air and noise pollution. ALWAYS keep a safe distance from firecrackers and fireworks.
EMERGENCY NUMBERS: Its best to keep your ISOS or any international healthcare provider or insurance information readily available to you and your family as well as keep digital copies.
ISOS EMERGENCY NUMBER: 400-818-0767
Travelling to the Moon
Travel will be very busy around start and end of holiday so book in advance and consider travelling earlier or later to avoid holiday crowds.
Trains: You MUST provide your passport to any agencies or ticket offices to buy train tickets. This is the busy season for transportation and normally, the earliest train tickets can be reserved is 20 days in advance.
Domestic plane tickets: Tickets are normally full price and offer few discounts.
International flight tickets: Tickets may be discounted from as early as 2 weeks before to 2 weeks after, especially within the official holiday dates. Look for discounted fares to other Southeast Asian countries originating from Chinese cities like Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
Flights can be purchased on these websites: www.qunar.com, www.ctrip.com, www.elong.com
Trains can be pruchased on www.12306.cn and www.ctrip.com
Mooncake Saves Company
This is the midyear reset button where you can heal or at least potentially earn a second chance on relationships gone wrong at work or personally. Its hard to be mad at people during the holidays, especially the holiday based on family togetherness. (people may be nicer during Christmas or “Thanksgiving” or on their way to a family reunion).
You can also strengthen existing bonds and cement friendships that you may have neglected or just haven’t gotten around to as much as you wish you had. At least you can let people know you are thinking about them. Its time to show appreciation for their care and efforts, not necessarily their performance.
Who wouldn’t love to receive a gift? Mooncakes?
Buying Moon cakes:
Moon cakes (compared to the Chinese version of fruitcake) can be purchased everywhere. Best branded cakes can be purchased from 4-5 star hotels (Shangri La, Kempinski, Intercontinental), moving down to lower level hotels and shops (Starbucks, Breadtalk, Holiland bakery and all big supermarkets). Gift packaged moon cakes can range from about 100-500+. A 2nd gift can be considered according to priorities or as simple as moon shaped fruits, (round like grapes, melon, etc)
Giving Standards: (Remember the context of your city, company, neighborhood, closeness of relationship will all impact the pricing of mooncakes and the amounts of red envelope you choose to give. Best to consult others in your company and neighbors to see what existing common practices are, and use our list as a guideline that can be adjusted.
- For normal simple relationships- 100 to 150 RMB spent on moon cakes is very nice and thoughtful. (doormen, attendants, simple acquaintance/helpers, Chinese Teachers)
- For Ayis/Drivers or normal workmates – 200-300RMB value of moon cakes and gifts is ok. If you are really want to show stronger appreciation for these people 300-500 RMB in value is great for them. This should be the total value of the gift and moon cakes together.
- For High Level managers or counterpart- 5 star hotels moon cakes worth 800 to 1000+ would be best. It would be nice to get the premium package to recognize their position. The 5 star hotels also sell vouchers that can be used for them to redeem. Also feel free to add additional thoughtful foreign or high level expensive gifts.
Give gifts according to their family priorities as this is the holiday of reunion. They are all heading home to spend time with loved ones, so thoughtfulness toward their loved ones will be greatly appreciated.
Best to give gifts before the holiday and not after unless you are travelling.
No need for red envelopes but still acceptable.
If you also plan on travelling, it’s best to pick up some foreign goodies while you are away to give to those who you wish to appreciate according to priorities. Remember it’s the thoughtfulness of bringing the gift from overseas that trumps the value. It shows you really care!
Giving Gifts (reminders)
- should reflect the giver and the recipient.
- offered from the first meeting with a Chinese host, and should always be exchanged for celebrations.
- given as thanks for assistance and to cultivate guanxi and for future favors.
- best not given if value is so high that it would make impossible for the local Chinese to reciprocate-this would cause a loss of face and place them in a very difficult position.
- The Chinese usually do not open gifts at the time they receive them.
- When receiving gifts from the Chinese, do not open them unless they insist.
- When wrapping gifts, do not use white paper-it symbolizes death. Red and gold are the best. Avoid elaborately wrapping gifts.
- Better not to write anything in red ink as it symbolizes debt or owing someone.
- Gifts will often be refused as a gesture, so you must insist repeatedly until received.
PLEASE DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER! Find a way to give harmoniously so it does not make them seem eager or wanting.
Give 2 smaller gifts (unless 1 bigger or expensive gift) The Chinese like even numbers:
(Remember it is ok to give women’s products to men as well, because they will have a female in their family who can always benefit from the gift)
Gifts According to Priorities:
Grandparents, Parents, Child, Wife, Husband,
Parents- Health related products, Clothing (it’s gonna get cold soon!),Fish Oil, Vitamins, Fruit
Children- Same as Parents, health related, educational, Entertainment (foreign toys, books, anything in English or Disney, anything from your home country or travel destination)
Higher level people that you may or may not have a close relationship to but must acknowledge:
- Men- Cigarettes, Electronics, Alcohol they like or expensive
- Women-,Beauty products, Health Products, Foreign Goods Always Safe
REMEMBER- anticipate the needs of the recipient, and be thoughtful and sincere while recognizing their social rank in society when choosing gifts!
If you have any questions, call or send us an email!
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