Mooncake Festival Dice Game

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.

mooncake festival dice game prizes

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

A photo posted by Chats GS (@imomonline) on

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.

9 thoughts on “Mooncake Festival Dice Game

  1. Sounds like fun. Di ka yata swerte sa games and raffles. Oh, but you did win a domain from Noemi, didn’t you. And a queen of quirks prize from me. Naaah, you’re no lucky.

    You still have some mooncakes? Bring me one — chockful of butong pakwan — on friday?

  2. nakakatawa naman ang mga parents when they rattled that it was a form of gambling!! they are so narrow minded for them to think that way!! ang saya nga. as a fil chi it is like christmas with the gifts and stuffs!! enjoy talaga. we have this dice game sa side ng husband ko and my family’s side and then the school. dapat every year na yan imom and make this possible!!

  3. i think i’ve seen the game in a tv show, in a documentary. yung consolation were small mooncakes while the winner gets the biggest mooncake. and then there’s kainan afterwards. but i agree, cash and appliances are way better prizes than mooncakes, hehehe!
    ang cute ng uniform ng kids!

  4. can anyone give me the exact rules for this game? planning to play it with the family but doesn’t have the rules. Confused with which one is higher… 6 fours, straight or 6 sixes? Is there such a thing? The last time I played it was when I was in Manila. I am usually at the receiving end… thanks

What do you think of this blog post? Leave a comment here!