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Mooncake Festival Dice Game

Every month of September, Chinese celebrates the Moon cake Festival. One of the exciting games played during the celebration is the dice game. The game is really simple and may vary from one family to another. However, the principles and rules are universal. The important thing in the dice game is the red 4 dots. You just have to keep in mind to be able to get red 4 dots each throw and you are a sure winner.

What you'll need:
6 fair dices, 1 bowl, long table (depends on the number of players), moon cake and/or other prizes. 

1. Choose a starting point where the game will start. The person chosen to start the game will throw the 6 dices all at one throw into the bowl. There must be no dice thrown out of the bowl, otherwise his/her turn will be void.The bowl will be passed on to the next person sitting beside the first person and so on until the bowl reaches the starting point again and repeat the game until all prizes are consumed.

2. Determining the prizes:

a. one 4 red dots (smallest prize)

b. two 4 red dots (next smallest prize)
c. three 4 red dots (medium prize)

d. four 4 red dots (next medium prize)

e. five 4 red dots (big prize)

f. six 4 red dots (jackpot)

Special prizes:
a. if the dices that appear are the dices with dots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 it will be given a special prize usually next to the jackpot prize or if nobody has gotten the jackpot prize.

Other possible prizes:
a. Same Four/Same three numbers. If a thrower has gotten three or four identical/same numbers he/she will receive a special prize.

How will the game end? 
When all moon cakes or prizes has been used up. The game master will determine how will the remaining prizes be distributed.

This version is how we play it during the first Sunday of September at the Rotary Office :)

credits to manilalife for the dice photos :)


Hungry Ghost Festival Myths

There are a lot of myths during the 7th moon or more commonly referred to as the Hungry Ghost Festival (or Ghost Festival). 

The most popular myths are the following and the truths about them with respect to the philosophies and scriptures of Buddhism and Taoism.

Myth 1: The gates of Hell are opened during every 7th lunar month. Which means souls leave Hell and freely go to the living world.

THE TRUTH: Not all beings will be reborn in hell. Those who have earned strong negative karmas when they were alive will be the ones who will be reborn in hell. Although, when these souls have cleansed and lessen their bad karma they will again have the chance to be born in the living world. Therefore, all souls have the chance to leave hell and not only when it's the 7th month but when they have payed enough for their bad karma.

Myth 2: During the 7th month, hungry ghosts from hell roam the world freely as wandering spirits. 

Hungry Ghost Festival

An ancient scroll of the Hungry Ghost Festival

 If the west celebrates Halloween, the Chinese also has an eastern version and it is the Hungry Ghost Festival (or simply Ghost Festival). In the lunar calendar the festival falls on the 7th moon and is commonly called as the ghost month. There is a debate on where the festival had originated. For Buddhists and Taoists in China, they claim that the festival is from the scriptures of Buddhism as to which Buddha tells that the gates of hell are opened. Others claim that it is mostly from Chinese folklore, traditions and other folk religions.  

During the Hungry Ghost Festival, the Chinese family gathers all together and serves a lot of food and other offerings for the hungry ghosts so that the ghosts would not bring the family bad luck. There are a lot of superstitions during the ghost month since it is believed that ghosts (and they’re hungry) are freely wandering the living world. One superstition is that when it is already late at night and you’re walking alone, then somebody calls your name from behind, you should not look back because it is believed that the one calling you is a ghost. 

A ghost coming back for those who have owed him when he was still alive

 Other superstitions during the Hungry Ghost Festival:
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