Autumn has arrived here in Yiliang, China. However, as we’re quite far south, our autumn is very different from the way I remember it. Back in the Netherlands, autumn used to be characterised by storms, rain and dark days. Although we do get a dark day here every now and again, but most of the rain falls between April and July, so that’s not a problem at the moment.
To be honest, we get great autumn weather over here. The heat of July and August is behind us, and the cold of December and January, when temperatures can drop as far as freezing point, hasn’t yet arrived. I’m not looking forward to winter; anything below 15 degrees is too cold for my liking. Anyway, no need to worry about that yet. For the moment, we get to enjoy the wonderful blue skies, sunshine and 25 degrees Celsius.
Great for the crops, too. This type of weather allows us to create the right climate in the greenhouse much more easily again, because the outdoor temperatures aren’t as extreme as in summer.
I do miss certain things from the Netherlands, though. Like the colourful leaves on the ground. All the leaves stay on the trees here, with the same colour. But Chinese autumn bring something else: the Mid-Autumn Festival, a traditional harvest festival.
This holiday, when everyone meets up to celebrate the harvest, falls on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. It’s the second biggest Chinese holiday, after Chinese New Year. As the name suggests, it’s always celebrated in the middle of the season. Some people call it the ‘Moon Festival’. Because the moon is at its biggest and roundest on that day. Like all Chinese holidays, this festival is very much family oriented. And people eat traditional moon cakes every day, for a whole week. The round shape of these cakes symbolises the roundness of the moon, as well as the reunion of the family.
All in all, autumn over here gives very little reason for a seasonal depression. We do need to prepare for a few weeks of cold weather afterwards, but they’ll pass quickly and before we know it, spring will be here again. But for now, we’re enjoying the autumnal sunshine!
General manager Van den Berg RoseS, China