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.


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.

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