Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节, zhōngqiūjié) lands on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, relatively near the autumnal equinox; in 2014, it falls on September 5. Also sometimes called Mooncake Festival, it is a public holiday in China and Taiwan on which families gather to give offerings to the full moon, float sky lanterns and eat mooncakes (月饼, yuèbing). Continue »
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Watching old Greek movies from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s has been a rite of passage for every single generation raised in Greece from the ’80s onwards. When we were young, these movies played endlessly on TV, getting us acquainted with the Greece our parents grew up in. Continue »
Typically eaten at Christmastime in Spain, turrón (a type of nougat) originated centuries ago. Some historians believe it was a sweet paste with nuts eaten by athletes in ancient Rome, while others trace its origins to a more elaborate medieval Arab delicacy that combined various toasted nuts with spices and honey. Continue »
At first you’re puzzled. What a strange name. Why not just call it Manas Kouzina, Mother’s Kitchen, and be done with it? Well, like everything connected with this new Athenian eatery, which opened at the end of August opposite the big butter-colored church dedicated to St. Irene (Agia Eirini) on Aiolou Street, the name was given tremendous thought. Continue »
For a city whose natural beauty is what often sweeps visitors off their feet, Rio’s historical gems often look a little like urban ugly ducklings when compared to the bikini crowds and chic bars on sandy Ipanema beach. That’s a shame, because Rio Antigo has a great story to tell. Old Rio runs along the Guanabara Bay rather than the open Atlantic, and it was the former that gave the city its name – River of January – when Portuguese explorers came upon it in the first month of 1502. Continue »
Shanghai’s hottest summer on record is officially behind us, which can mean only one thing: Mid-Autumn Festival is just around the corner. Zhōngqiū jié (中秋节) is that memorable time of year when Chinese people gift (and regift) bite-sized treats known as mooncakes (月饼, yuèbǐng). Continue »
Walking into La Corte is like stepping into the 1950s. At this no-frills fonda, located in downtown Mexico City by the Supreme Court (hence the name), customers perch on red vinyl seats at laminate tabletops or along the counter and read their newspapers, the tableware and lighting are utilitarian, and the décor is minimal: just a few televisions with fútbol on and the sound off. The color flat screens might be the only indication that this is, indeed, the 21st century. Continue »