Saturday, October 3, 2009

Moon cake gambling in Xiamen , MId-autumn festival hottest tradition than ever

In Xiamen ,even the spring festival( Chinese new year ) could not compare...

You know what I am talking about , if you are now lucky enough to be in Xiamen , don't tell me nobody invites you to play the Mid-Autumn moon cake gambling game.

MId-Autumn festival  ,also known as the Moon Festival, or in Chinese, Zhongqiu Jie (traditional Chinese: 中秋節), is a popular harvest festival celebrated by Chinese people .
The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is usually around late September or early October in the Gregorian calendar. It is a date that parallels the autumn and spring Equinoxes of the solar calendar, when the moon is supposedly at its fullest and roundest. The traditional food of this festival is the mooncake, of which there are many different varieties.

Moon cake is the must have snack in the Mid-autumn Festival. The traditional moon cake is round shaped which symbolize the family reunion. To have a piece of moon cake with family members during the Mid-autumn Festival is one of the favorite times for most of people in China.  
The moon cake in Xiamen is different from elsewhere in the world. A set of moon cake composes of 63 moon cakes classified in 6 different sizes. To decide who can take which one, a moon cake game was innovated by general Zheng Chenggong about 300 years ago for easing soldiers' home sick during the Mid-autumn Festival. The game is so entertaining that only play once you'll never forget it.

The rule of moon cake game is quite similar to gambling. 6 dices are put into a big ceramic bowl. 10 people around the table, drop 6 dice one by one in clockwise. As a rule of thumb, the more dice with red four-point in one drop the bigger moon cake you can take. People drop the dice one after another until all the moon cakes are taken. Normally all the 63 moon cakes can be taken within 30 minutes, however the game can last for several hours until the last moon cake is taken by specific dice combination.

Mooncake Game was started about 1500 years ago by scholars craving success in imperial exams. The total of 63 prizes, based on various dice combinations, was named after imperial titles earned from the exam:
One prize for #1 Scholar (Zhuangyuan) The seven prize levels:
Highest 1. Zhuangyuan with Gold Flower
2. Hongliubo (6 fours)
3. Yaodianliubo (6 ones)
4. Heiliubo (6 of the same, except fours)
5. Wuhong (5 fours)
6. Wuzi (5 of the same, except fours)
Lowest 7. Sihong (4 fours)
Two prizes for No. 2 Scholar (Duitang) A straight.
Four prizes for No. 3 Scholar (Sanhong) Throw 3 fours

Eight prizes for No. 4 Scholar (Sijin) Throw 4 of the same, except fours

Sixteen prizes for No. 5 Scholar (Erju) Throw 2 fours

Thirty two prizes for No. 6 Scholar (Yixiu) Throw 1 four

The Mid-autumn Festival with moon cake game in Xiamen sounds more important than the Spring Festival. A couple of weeks before and after the Mid-autumn Festival, all people in Xiamen enjoy the moon cake game. Companies use this game to distribute welfare to employees, shopping malls use this game to promote merchandise The award of the game changes as time goes by. Almost everywhere in Xiamen, you can take chances to win something by this game. A final moon cake game is held every year, the winner can take a house or a luxury car that worth around half million CNY.

At last , today 3rd Oct ,2009 is the day of mid-autumn festival of 2009! happy gambling!

 thanks to the resources:


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1 comment:

Anite said...

thank u for your explanation =)