13 October, 2016

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Being in a Chinese environment and working for a Chinese-owned company for almost 6 years has become a cultural immersion for me — in a positive kind of way, of course. Dating a Chinese man and having a Chinese best friend now have brought me a good amount of knowledge and understanding about their customs, their way of life, and traditions. I also began to appreciate their cuisine and all these dishes that I used to not eat. Admittedly, before all these, I knew nothing about anything Chinese. Matter of fact, it was something that I used to avoid because this person that I used to know did not like anything Chinese ... so now's like the opposite of everything.

Ghost Month, Mooncakes, and Mid-Autumn Festival
It was in 2011 when I first learned about Ghost Month, 鬼月. I was supposed to have some house repairs done, but was warned by a friend to defer it until after ghost month. I was surprised that ghost month was strictly observed at work. We were not allowed to do big events like groundbreakings, sales rallies, inaugurations, and blessings because at this time, ghosts and spirits are believed to roam the earth. This time was similar to All Souls' Day. Every milestone, big gathering, and major purchase were done after ghost month.

Mooncake

That same year, I received my first Moon Cake, 月饼. For those of you not familiar with this Chinese mid-autumn festival must-have, see photo above ▲. Lucky me got tons of moon cakes that year and years after that.Ü The act of giving moon cakes to family, friends, and colleagues is a practice that dates back ages ago. Moon Cakes symbolize togetherness and if you happen to get one ( or more ), it tells the recipient that your friendship is valued by the other person. Touching, isn't it? The giving of moon cakes is just one of the customs observed by the Chinese during the Mid-Autumn Festival. This festival is considered to be the second biggest Chinese event in a year — the first one being Chinese New Year. The Mid-Autumn Festival goes back to thousands of years ago when ancient Chinese worshiped the moon for bountiful harvest. On the day that the Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated, the moon is also said to be its roundest. This usually falls a few weeks after the end of the Hungry Ghost Festival. [ Read more: The Story Behind Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋节 ]


My First Dice Game
For the past years, I was always invited to go to a Moon Cake / Mid-Autumn Festival gathering, but I never went. This year, I did things differently. My Howe always looked forward to Moon Cake month because of the Dice Game. He always explained it to me, but I never really got a good grasp of how fun it was until this year.

Dice Game rules are simple: the game involves throwing 6 dice into a bowl and if you get any one of the lucky combinations, you get a prize. There are assigned prizes ( 6th place to 1st place ) to the best dice combos. The game goes on until all prizes are won. It could take a while, but it just radiates all these good vibes when you're playing. No one goes home empty-handed or that pretty-much is the idea but I guess it depends on how many prizes are up for grabs.

In this Mid-Autumn Festival party that we went to, P and I got a lot of the sixth prize(s) + a second prize where I got to bring home Chanel goodies. To make my first Dice Game even more memorable, we also won the first prize / the Zhong Guan, which I tell you was worth the wait. If you'll look at my IG photo below, the Zhong Guan's inside the Ang Pow ( red envelope ). While it did seem like forever, waiting for one of the best combinations to come out was definitely worth our while. I guess the odds were in our favor. Our table had 15 players including us and well, the lucky 4 Fours combination was fated to come out during one of our turns.Ü It felt like Thanksgiving and the vibe was just fun, fun, fun. Every person from our table brought something lovely home. All the prizes were very nice. I gotta give it to our host for being generous and for throwing such a marvelous Mid-Autumn Festival party.



After ditching several of these, I finally went to one. Woohoo for my first #MidAutumnFestival 🤗

A photo posted by R U S S (@ruussso) on





Have you ever been to a Mid-Autumn Festival gathering and played the Dice Game? Is it something celebrated in your country? Zhōng qiū jié! 中秋快乐  ☮..Peace + _Love + Good Vibes. RUSS.

85 comments:

Miera Nadhirah Tan said...

Hmm.. I have not really head of a Mid Autumn dice game , at least not in Malaysia or among my friends... we normally have gatherings, exchanging of mooncakes and lanterns... and sometimes fireworks.. but that all about it....

Stacie said...

That sounds like so much fun! We don't have Mid-Autumn Festival in the States, but we do have the age-old favorite, Halloween!

Cosmetic Sanctuary said...

I had heard of Moon Cake but had never actually seen one, and I wasn't sure what they symbolized. You really did well on the Dice Game though! I hadn't heard of that before but it sounds like a lot of fun and a good way to spend time with family and friends!

Heather Jones said...

Fun! I'm pretty clueless, it do enjoy most Chinese cusine. It's good to learn about other cultures.

Rebecca Swenor said...

It is always fun to learn different things about different cultures. I didn't know about the Mid-Auntumn Festival and I find it very interesting. Thanks for sharing the information and I am glad you went to your first party along with taking prizes home.

Kylie wenn said...

Great to celebration mid-autumn festival.. I celebrated it back then as well.. It's nice..

Shy said...

Sounds like you really had a great time. I'm happy for you. A couple of firsts could make any day extra, extra special. :)

Angie Harris said...

I have never been to a Mid-Autumn Festival gathering or played the Dice Game. I live in the USA and not sure if anyone here does possibly celebrate it or not. However this sounds like a lo of fun.

Alli Smith said...

I had never heard of any of these customs and I enjoyed learning about moon cakes and the dice game. Glad you won big in the dice game!

Melissa said...

This sounds like fun! I always enjoy doing seasonal activities with my family.

Ann B said...

Moon cake looks so delicious. I would love to learn more about Chinese culture.

Pamela said...

Fall is my favorite time of year. I have so many fond memories of our local small town fall festival. Thank you for sharing!

Cykaniki said...

I haven't heard about the game, but it seems a lot of fun and excitement, I love how you shared the true meaning, regarding bountiful harvest, even if I was not able to have this kind of activity but I always look forward to know a let of culture. You're did pretty well on the dice game even if it's your first time.

uprunforlife said...

This sounds like a fun festival. I haven't ever been to anything like this. We have a few festivals in the USA but they are geared towards kids or crafting.

Mom Knows Best said...

Amazing about not having repairs done during this time. I feel for the companies who loose work then.

AiringMyLaundry said...

This looks like a lot of fun! That Moon Cake looks delicious.

Stargazer said...

I haven't really celebrated the exact festival, but I'd love to expose to it. That's so many firsts for you! I am amazed.

Fernando Lachica said...

Chinese cuisine and festivals are very exciting and truly versatile in terms of food and decors. The culture in itself is more than what most people do for gatherings, celebrations, etc.

Franc said...

I just remember the moon cake and not the festival. It looks like fun to be in an actual festival and try the different games.

Fred Hawson said...

You did not mention what was your Zhong Guan winning dice combination. When we were kids we played this game yearly. These days with all the busy schedules, we have to squeeze out the time to sneak a game in. In fact our high school batch played during the ghost month this year!

Lynndee said...

I've never been to a mid-autumn festival nor I've tried playing a dice game. We've been to a lot of fall festivals around the area though. :)

Terri Beavers said...

I wish we had festivals like this where I live. Autumn is my favorite time of year and I enjoy getting out and about in the cooler weather.

iCynosure Blog said...

I had no idea about this, but the game sure looks a lot of fun.

Sam said...

Haven't heard about mid-autumn festival before. But it's great to learn about Chinese culture. Everyone in the world commemorates the end of October in different ways. This one is def a unique one to do so!

Emma White said...

oh wow I have never heard of this so it's great to learn more about culture. It looks and sounds as if you have had a great time.

Ashley @ Hello nature said...

That sounds like such a fun game to play! I always love learning things about cultures I'm not familiar with. The Mid-Autumn Festival sounds like a blast!

Shaney Vijendranath said...

This post was such an interesting read for me because I know about nothing you spoke about. I learnt a lot of new things about different cultures reading this. :)

Mommy Roxi said...

Yay for winning your first game! I see some of my friends on Facebook celebrate this festival too.

Gabriel said...

My mom recently spent a couple of years working at the embassy in Beijing and she loved the culture there, she celebrates a couple of them even now that she's back.

Pooja Kawatra said...

Since we are living in Singapore from a long time and relate myself to these festivAls celebrated here. Kids enjoy them all.

RainbowDiaries Singapore said...

Mid-autumn festival is a big fun! Mooncakes, lanterns...loads of nice traditions and community bonding happens during this period.

Claire Algarme said...

I'm familiar with the Chinese food but not much about the festival. It's good to know a little bit about other culture. I'm glad to have read your post because I have picked a new thing or two from here about the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Dominic Barrios said...

I got to play the dice game for 3 or 4 yrs already. A wedding coordinator organizes this party every September when it's ghost month. That's the only time, most wedding suppliers don't have shoots so we can have time to party or mingle. Fortunately, 1 dice game I attended, I took home the most prizes for our table. The entrance fee of 800 pesos was well worth it plus the food!

sara lafountain said...

What a fun evening! I have never heard of this dice game, but we love to play Yahtzee. Actually, my family loves to play any board game. I love your photos too..

Amber said...

I haven't been to a mid-autumn festival, but it sounds like something I would love. What an interesting game!

Chardy Baldyosa said...

Sounds really fun! The activities you had experienced must have given you so much knowledge about the place's culture and people. You know, we should do that in the Philippines so that we can get to know more of how other countries celebrate events.

Hil'Lesha O'Nan said...

I love going to different kinds of festivals! This is my first time hearing about the Mid-Autumn Festival, though. It sounds like a lot of fun!

CourtneyLynne said...

Oooo what a fun festival!!! Anything related to fall is always a total blast!

Heather said...

This is all so new to me. A mid-autumn dice game? Okay, I’ll buy in. We are always on the lookout for fun games that we can play as a family. SCORE for a new idea!

Laiariel Samangka said...

I'd never got a line about a moon cake festival yet and didn't know what about it. Thank you for granting me a chance of taking a glimpse of knowing something interesting in which I never get a chance to know about it.

Kristine Redillas said...

I've heard about the Ghost Month from my boyfriend and I really didn't think it was a big deal to some. I actually want to try eating moon cake because I got curious from watching a series. Your culture is exquisite that up to now, everything's being practiced. Have you got any traditions of your own? :D

Echo A said...

How fun! I have never tried a moon cake or played the dice game!

Rochkirstin Santos said...

Because I'm also Chinese and have grown into a traditional Chinese family, I'm very familiar with the mooncake festival, the history behind it, and the dice game. :) It's always fun to play it especially when there are cool prizes to win.

Rachel Mouton said...

This looks like such a great festival. You look like y'all are really having a lot of fun. I would love to visit this festival one day :)

Wildish Jess said...

Ghost month?! That's something I've never heard of before and interesting that its so heavily believed and observed.

lee rosales said...

Never heard of mid autum dice game but I am familiar with ghost month. Chinese believe in this right? Most of my friends wont open a business if it falls on a ghost month.

Tiffany Yong W.T. said...

I've never heard of the dice game but it definitely look very very interesting (especially if you are lucky)...
I'm so glad you're enjoying Chinese festivals! <3

Terri Beavers said...

I've never been to a mid autumn festival before. I bet I'd have a blast though because festivals are my thing.

Wren said...

Looks like you really enjoyed yourself! Love the photos so much! :)

Nikki said...

This is such a fun idea but this is my first time to heard about dice game!

Paula De La Asunción Poveda said...

I'm not familiar with this celebration, or the cakes or the games for that matter, so it was actually very interesting to read :)

Brandy Tanner said...

This is really interesting, I honestly learned something new about your culture and other people's way of celebrating Autumn. Super cool!

Cori Large said...

I've never heard of Ghost Month. That's very interesting that the entire culture avoids big events for an entire month. The beginning of the next month must be a very busy one for event coordinators.

kittynecessity said...

Looks like you really had a great time! Thanks for sharing your experience and enlightening us on your culture :)

KatrinaJeanCarter.wordpress.com

Julie said...

What an interesting post! I'm so glad I happened upon it. My children would love to learn about a new dice game, so thank you.

mail4rosey said...

This is the perfect time of year for a festival because the weather is so nice! I've never tried a moon cake but I hear about them every year!

Amanda C. McNeil said...

So fun! I've never heard of any of these traditions but I love learning about other cultures!

Amanda Marie said...

Those mooncakes look delicious!

Hylaandpeterechols.com said...

I've never heard of this game but it sounds great for family gatherings!

Jenni Petrey said...

I love, love moon cakes. I haven't heard of the dice game though. I've always said that my children were born in the wrong country as they love all things to do with China!

Elizabeth O. said...

That's awesome. Learning about a new culture is very refreshing. It opens your doors to new experiences. I'm glad you had a great time!

jimmy and Tina said...

I had never heard of moon cakes, its quite an interesting tradition! The Festival looks like so much fun!

Ellie Chan said...

I Remember my first Mid-Autumn festival with my In-laws, I was so excited and it was so much fun.

Laura Robinson said...

I was in China for this festival a long time ago. It was a lot of fun.

E said...

I love learning about new cultures, thanks for sharing! -Erin at www.stayathomeyogi.com

Hey Sharonoox said...

Yes, we always get moon cake for mid=autumn but I've never heard of the dice game. It looks like a fun game to play when friends gathered around.

Glenda Kruse said...

I enjoy going to festivals especially that time of season. The weather is perfect and the grounds are so beautiful!

Enricoh Alfonzo Naidu said...

Moon cakes have always sounded awesome to me. always wanted to try one. this mid autumn event sounds like so much fun

CourtneyLynne said...

Omg this sounds so fun!!! We need more things like this in my parts!!!

Ima Asuquo said...

This game sounds like a lot of fun -- learning about diverse traditions, no matter how little, always is.

Rain Dazed said...

've never been to a mid-autumn festival. My sister's ex-husband is Chinese and we definitely enjoyed many of the beautiful traditions as a result.

Elizabeth O said...

Oh, this festival is so nice. I like moon cake so as your way of celebrating the mid-autumn festival.

Claudette P. Esterine said...

This was great to read as it is always nice to see people stepping out and at least getting to know some basics about another culture.

Carol Cassara said...

I think it's awesome that you're learning about a different culture. I've never experienced a mid autumn festival before. It seems fun!

Elizabeth O. said...

That sounds amazing! I've never been to one and I'm not familiar with it. I think it's nice to learn about different cultures, you'll be surprised about the things that you'll love!

Karina Ramos said...

Oh I have never heard about this game but I like learning new things and experiencing other things. Looks fun though and you look happy.

Maaya Legaspi said...

Hmm.. this is the first time I heard about this. Though I'm familiar with Chinese New Year, I didn't know that ghost month also originated from the Chinese. I also heard about the dice game but I'm not familiar on how it is being played. It would be great if I could experience this too. Sounds like a cool tradition. :)

Mommy QueenElizabeth said...

Its nice to learn about different cultures. This post was very interesting. I was able to learn new things like mid-autumn festival which was kinda new to me. Im afraid we do not celebrate this kind of festival in our place. Though the dice game seems to be fun and really engaging. Thanks for sharing! :)

Veeyah | The Indy Miss said...

Gosh, everything I read on here was new information (except for the mooncakes). I had no idea they had a Ghost Month, and knowing how the Chinese value their tradition and customs, I'm quite certain they really take this seriously, as you stated. I haven't attended a Mid-Autumn festival before either! So much to learn! :) Congrats on all the mooncakes you got, haha!

eleanor llabore said...

This is interesting. I learned more about Chinese traditions by reading your blog. It is always nice to know more about their culture and traditions. I especially their Special Tikoy and I also tasted their Moon Cake.

Jerwel De Perio said...

I never really knew about Ghost month until now. Though I have heard and joined some events for the mid-autumn festivities, which I enjoyed, considering that all I have done was to eat. I would much like to know about the Dice game, though. It sounded fun.

Joanna Davis said...

I have been to China myself and I was in the middle of some celebrations so I am a bit familiar with some of the traditions. The mid-autumn festivals sounds like a lot of fun, and also the dice game. It's great that the game is played until all the prizes are won. This way you get more chances :)

Kriswanders said...

It's my first time to hear about the dice game and it's good to know that everyone went home with something. Yay! My mother is not a Chinese but yep, she also believed about ghost month not being the best date for any major decisions when it comes to business.

Alyssa Tuangco said...

I've heard this game from my boyfriend since he's chinese and they play this. It sounds actually fun! Winning those prizes :)

Johna Paguinto said...

Wow! Sounds like to had an amazing time here. I've never experienced it but I would love to in the future. Take usssssssss :P