September 11 is the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, a traditional time for family reunions. This year, people in Beijing are finding a new way to celebrate the auspicious day: a concert on the lake.
As darkness falls, the dragon boat lights up. When the music gets closer, everyone begins to get into a festival mood. This concert is held at the largest lake in Beijing's famous Summer Palace. It is the first time that people in the city have been able to enjoy the moon light, sweet moon cakes and music on the former imperial lake.
Wang Conghui, CCTV Reporter, said: "Here, the summer palace, which used to be the emperors' holiday residence, is now open to ordinary people. However, on this very special day, the palace is going back to its royal ways. The tickets for the concert are about US$250, which is an extremely expensive festival treat."
Ma Guoqiang said: "I think it is a very unique way to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with families in this way, on the lake, listening to the music and enjoying the moon cakes. It's new and fun. and I think it's worth the price."
Throughout the traditional Chinese garden, the performances are quite a mixture of east and west, modern and classic. Not like a usual indoor concert, the stage is built on the lake, and the audience are free to go around in boats, floating to wherever they want. However, it is a luxury that most ordinary people can not afford that. Many could only enjoy it on the banks of the lake.
Lin Minxin said: "I think it is great to spend the festival at the lake concert. But it is too expensive for us. It is a way of life for rich people."
At the moment, no matter whether you are rich or poor, the moon is round and bright for everyone and the joy of the festival is spreading across the water in waves.
(CCTV.com September 12, 2003)