Lanterns, Legends, and Laughter: China's Mid-Autumn Fest Lights up the world

Lanterns, Legends, and Laughter: China's Mid-Autumn Fest Lights up the world

By Author

Published on October 4, 2023

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is a mesmerizing celebration that sweeps across China, painting the skies with lanterns and filling hearts with joy. In this article, we'll take you on a journey through the enchanting traditions and festivities that make this festival so special.

Gazing at the Radiant Moon

At the heart of the Mid-Autumn Festival is the moon itself. Families gather under the starry night to admire the full moon, believing it symbolizes unity and togetherness. The moon's radiant glow casts a spell of enchantment, creating a perfect backdrop for heartfelt reunions.

Mooncakes: Delicious Delights of Unity

No Mid-Autumn Festival is complete without mooncakes, delectable pastries that come in various flavors and fillings. From classic lotus seed paste to innovative creations, these treats are shared among loved ones as a symbol of unity and good fortune.

Lanterns Aglow in the Night

One of the most captivating sights during the festival is the sea of lanterns that light up the streets. Children carry colorful lanterns, each with its own unique design, turning the night into a whimsical wonderland.

Family Reunions and Festive Feasts

Similar to Thanksgiving in the West, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a time for family gatherings. Generations come together to share stories, indulge in mooncakes, and enjoy a sumptuous feast that includes traditional dishes like duck and taro.

Folklore and Legends: The Tale of Chang'e

Every culture has its legends, and the Mid-Autumn Festival is no exception. The story of Chang'e, the Moon Goddess, is a beloved tale that adds a touch of magic to the celebration. Discover the legend and its significance in the festival's traditions.

The Cultural Tapestry of China's Regions

While the Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated throughout China, each region adds its unique flavor to the festivities. From vibrant lantern carnivals in Hong Kong to solemn incense-burning ceremonies in Beijing, explore the diverse cultural expressions of this beloved festival.

Moonlit Activities: Dragon Dances and Riddles

Beyond mooncakes and lanterns, the festival features lively dragon and lion dances, showcasing the vibrant spirit of China. Additionally, riddle contests entertain and challenge the mind, adding an extra layer of fun to the celebrations.

Modern Twists: Technology Meets Tradition

In today's digital age, even ancient traditions get a modern twist. Discover how technology has influenced the way people celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, from sending digital greetings to enjoying augmented reality moon-gazing experiences.

Beyond China: The Global Reach of the Moon Festival

While the festival is deeply rooted in China, its popularity has spread globally. Chinese and Vietnamese communities around the world host vibrant celebrations, making it a multicultural event that bridges continents.


Culinary Tourism: Drawing Visitors through Mall/High Street Dining and Hospitality

Culinary Tourism: Drawing Visitors through Mall/High Street Dining and Hospitality

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on May 23, 2024

Culinary tourism is rapidly becoming a key driver in the tourism industry, with an increasing number of travelers seeking unique and memorable dining experiences. Malls and high streets are capitalizing on this trend by transforming into culinary destinations, offering diverse and immersive gastronomic adventures. This strategy not only enhances the visitor experience but also boosts foot traffic and revenue for retail and hospitality businesses.

The Rise of Culinary Tourism

Culinary tourism focuses on exploring local cuisines, dining experiences, and food-related activities as a significant part of travel. According to the World Food Travel Association, culinary travelers spend about 25% of their travel budget on food. This shift has prompted many commercial centers to integrate high-quality dining options and culinary events into their offerings.

Malls and High Streets as Culinary Destinations

Omaxe Chowk, located in the heart of Delhi, aims to be a hub for culinary tourism by showcasing India's rich culinary heritage. "Our vision is to recreate the charm of Chandni Chowk's street food within a modern and comfortable environment. Visitors can enjoy authentic local delicacies while exploring the historical and cultural essence of Old Delhi," says Jatin Goel, Executive Director, Omaxe Group. The operational food brands at Omaxe Chowk's Dawatpur include Popeyes, Burger King, Hongs Kitchen, Pizza Hut, Vaango, Spicenama, Eat Co., Amritsari Chennai Express, Chat Town, Jung Bahadur Kachori, KDH Chat, Vezley, Chicago Pizza, KFC, Chinese Wok, Dominos, Rolls Mania, Wow Momo, and Wow China.

Pacific Malls, with multiple locations across India, have embraced the culinary tourism trend by offering a variety of dining options ranging from fine dining to food courts with international cuisines. "We believe that a great dining experience is crucial to the overall appeal of our malls. By bringing together diverse culinary traditions, we aim to attract food enthusiasts and create a vibrant community space," states Abhishek Bansal, Executive Director of Pacific Malls. Notable food brands at Pacific Malls include Spezia Bistro, Punjab Grill, United Coffee House, Chili's, Birch By Romeo Lane, Neoba, House of Royal, Indus Flavour, and QDs.

Reach 3Roads, a mixed-use development in Gurugram, combines retail, dining, and entertainment to create a holistic experience for visitors. "Our focus is on creating an environment where people can come together to enjoy great food and social activities. Culinary events and festivals are a significant part of our strategy to engage the community and attract tourists," shares Nandini Taneja, VP, Reach Group. The dining options at Reach 3Roads include Sagar Ratna, Starbucks, Haldiram's, Chaayos, McDonald's, Badmaash Kebabi, Hong's Kitchen, Dunkin', and Moti Mahal.

Urban Square Mall in Udaipur is positioning itself as a premier culinary destination in the region. "We are curating a mix of local and international dining options to cater to the tastes of both residents and tourists. Our goal is to make Urban Square Mall a landmark for food lovers in Udaipur and for those also visiting Udaipur," says Uddhav Poddar, Managing Director of Bhumika Group, developers of Urban Square Mall. The mall features a variety of food brands including Kailash Parbat, Starbucks, Pind Balluchi, Keventers, Wow Momos, Subway, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Baskin Robbins. Additionally, they're excited to announce the upcoming opening of Lemon Tree Hotel and PVR INOX, further enhancing the visitor experience.

Creating Memorable Culinary Experiences

To attract and retain visitors, malls and high streets are incorporating various elements into their culinary offerings. Diverse food options, including local, regional, and international cuisines, cater to different tastes and preferences. Themed food festivals celebrate specific cuisines, seasons, or cultural traditions, drawing in crowds. Interactive food experiences, such as cooking classes, food tastings, and chef meet-and-greets, engage visitors actively. Aesthetic and comfortable ambiance enhances the overall dining experience, while promotions and partnerships with food bloggers, chefs, and influencers help to promote dining options and attract food enthusiasts.

Culinary tourism is transforming malls and high streets into vibrant culinary hubs, creating memorable experiences for visitors. As this trend continues to evolve, these commercial centers will be pivotal in shaping the future of travel and dining.


Can a Hospitality Degree Be Your Key to Success?

Can a Hospitality Degree Be Your Key to Success?

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on April 11, 2024

Considering a career in hospitality? You might be wondering if a hospitality degree is truly worth the investment. The answer, in a dynamic and ever-evolving industry, is a resounding yes! 

A hospitality degree equips you with far more than just the ability to smile and say "welcome." It delves into the core principles that run the hospitality industry, from revenue management and marketing to human resource management and customer service excellence.  You'll gain a comprehensive understanding of guest psychology, allowing you to anticipate their needs and deliver exceptional experiences.

Broadening Your Horizons: The industry encompasses a vast array of exciting sectors, from event planning and cruise lines to destination management and luxury resorts. A hospitality degree exposes you to these diverse opportunities, helping you discover your niche within the broader industry.

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Standing Out from the Crowd: In a competitive job market, a hospitality degree sets you apart. It demonstrates your dedication to the industry and equips you with a specialized skillset. Employers value graduates who possess a strong foundation in hospitality principles and can hit the ground running.

High-earning Potential: Hospitality careers offer excellent earning potential, especially with the right qualifications and experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, several hospitality occupations boast above-average salaries. For instance, hotel managers earn a median annual wage of $99,500, while meeting, convention, and event planners make a median of $53,390 (as of May 2022).

Courses to Consider in Hospitality:

Culinary Arts Management: This degree equips you with the skills to manage a restaurant or food service operation, opening doors to lucrative positions like Executive Chef or Food and Beverage Director.

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Event Management: If you thrive on organization and creating memorable experiences, event management offers a high-paying path. Graduates can find success planning weddings, conferences, or concerts.

Hospitality Marketing: In today's digital age, hospitality marketing skills are in high demand. This course will teach you how to craft compelling campaigns and leverage social media to attract guests, making you a valuable asset to any hotel or resort.

Hotel Management: This classic degree offers a well-rounded education in all facets of hotel operations. Graduates can climb the career ladder, potentially reaching positions like General Manager or Hotel Operations Director.

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A hospitality degree is just the beginning. Gaining relevant experience through internships or entry-level positions is crucial to career advancement. Network with industry professionals, hone your soft skills, and stay passionate about creating unforgettable experiences.

With dedication, a hospitality degree can unlock a world of opportunity and pave the way for a successful and rewarding career in a dynamic and ever-growing industry. Take the plunge, embrace the challenge, and watch your hospitality journey unfold!


Luxury Hotels Redefine Wellness with State-of-the-Art Gyms

Luxury Hotels Redefine Wellness with State-of-the-Art Gyms

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on April 8, 2024

Gone are the days of cramped hotel gyms stocked with dusty treadmills and rusty weights. Today's discerning traveler prioritizes wellness alongside luxury, and leading hotels are responding with state-of-the-art fitness facilities that rival high-end gyms. These havens of health and wellness offer more than just a place to get a quick sweat session; they provide a chance to invigorate your body and mind, all within the opulent surroundings of a luxury hotel. So, ditch the travel-induced workout woes and step into a world of fitness royalty. This article explores some of the world's finest hotel gyms, designed to elevate your workout experience and keep you feeling your best while on the go.

Experience Japanese minimalism and cutting-edge fitness technology at the Four Seasons Tokyo. Their fitness center features Technogym's Artis line with interactive screens, a dedicated personal training studio, and a serene relaxation area to unwind after your workout.

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Soaring 20 floors above the Windy City, The Langham's Chuan Spa and Health Club offers breathtaking views to accompany your workout.  Featuring the latest Technogym equipment, a dedicated yoga studio, and a luxurious lap pool, this haven caters to all fitness levels. Guests can also participate in personalized training sessions or curated wellness programs designed to restore and revitalize.

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Embrace the Dubai sunshine at the Four Seasons Resort's expansive fitness center. This haven boasts cutting-edge Technogym equipment, a dedicated free weight area, and a separate cardiovascular zone with ocean views.  The resort also offers a variety of fitness classes, from invigorating yoga sessions to high-intensity interval training, ensuring there's something for everyone.  For a truly personalized experience, guests can book private training sessions with certified professionals.

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Nestled within Perth's historic Treasury Building, COMO The Treasury's wellness sanctuary, COMO Shambhala, offers a holistic approach to fitness.  The state-of-the-art gym features Technogym equipment alongside a dedicated Pilates studio and a Kinesis room for functional training. Guests can also unwind in the vitality pool or steam room after their workout.

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Experience unparalleled luxury at The Peninsula Shanghai's ESPA Life integrated wellness center.  This expansive haven features a fitness center with cutting-edge equipment, a 25-meter indoor pool, and a dedicated yoga studio bathed in natural light.  The center also offers a wide range of fitness classes, from invigorating group sessions to personalized training programs tailored to individual needs.

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These are just a few examples of the exceptional fitness facilities offered by luxury hotels around the world.  So, next time you're planning a trip, remember to factor in the hotel's fitness offerings.  A top-notch gym can make all the difference in maintaining your fitness routine and returning from your travels feeling refreshed and invigorated.

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