Though youths’ interest wanes, some traditions thrive
Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on Thursday this year, is celebrated by families reuniting under the full moon and eating moon cakes, the emblem of festive foods. Those traditions aside, in the run-up to and during the annual festival, Fujian province residents of all ages preserve the tradition of mooncake-gaming.
Mooncake-gaming dates to the 17th century, when it was used to predict the future. Players throw six dice in hopes of winning a prize, usually a mooncake.
Nowadays, not many people play the game to learn the future, but as a fun activity with family and friends.
Zhang Xiaojun, of Wuyishan, graduated from Xiamen University in 2010. His class reunion fell this year just before Mid-Autumn Festival, and he and his classmates tried their luck at the game.
“I learned about moon cake as an undergraduate. I really missed playing it after graduation,” he said.
Zheng Yue, of Quanzhou, said that as a student in Italy this year, she introduced her European classmates to mooncake-gaming. “They really liked it,” she said.
Many people say the younger generation of Chinese appears uninterested in many traditions, raising concern over the future of Chinese culture.
According to Wang Jianshe, a professor at Huaqiao University, Xiamen, “Young people are crucial for preserving our traditions”. And if the public at large values traditions, this will increase their confidence in Chinese culture, Wang said.
Residents of Wuyuan, in Jiangxi province, perform a dragon dance on Tuesday to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on Thursday.
Lin Jinghua (right), a teacher at Hainan Overseas Chinese Middle School, shows foreign students how to make mooncakes on Wednesday to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival in Haikou, South China’s Hainan province.