Last week, my kids’ school celebrated the Moon Cake Festival by allowing the students to play theMoon Cake Festival dice game. In previous years, school authorities did not allow the game to be played by the kids because some parents objected, saying it was a form of gambling.
Well, okay, it is a form of gambling, albeit harmless. it’s also an integral part of Chinese culture, and our kids need to learn the tradition for it to live on.
Though our celebration seems late, I am glad that the traditional game has been revived this year. Actually, the Mooncake Festival dice game is one tradition that I’d like to start in my own family. Though we weren’t able to do it this year, I hope we get to play it next year.
The Mooncake Festival dice game originated in Southern Fujian (Fookien), China, where most Chinese in the Philippines migrated from. Participants – the more, the merrier – gather around a ceramic bowl with 6 dice. They all take turns throwing the dice into the bowl with hopes of getting the good combinations, if not the best – called “chong wan”. The highest “chong wan” combination consists of 4 fours and 2 ones.
Whoever gets the “chong wan” wins the grand prize. Of course there are prizes for all other winning combinations. Even unlucky ones still get consolation prizes, so everybody goes home happy.
Traditionally, prizes are moon cakes, but today they can be anything – from chips to home appliances, and even cool cash (at least for the “chong wan”)! For school games, food items, school supplies and toys are common prizes.
The parents’ association took the lead in organizing the event. I helped facilitate the game in V’s class. One reason why I love volunteering for school activities is I get to snap photos of my kids. 😛 They weren’t lucky enough to win the C’hong wan” though. Maybe next year!
Updated: December 25, 2015
In the recent years, my kids’ volleyball group has actively celebrated the Mooncake Festival and every year, we hold a Dice Game Party. It has become a tradition that the kids look forward to. The group is usually divided into two -the parents/adults group, and the kids group. This way, prizes are categorized accordingly (kids and adults prizes), and everybody goes home truly happy. I try to help in the organizing, and my fave task is – of course, shopping for prizes! 😀 The photo above are prizes for the kids’ table.