Though youths’ in­ter­est wanes, some tra­di­tions thrive

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By XIN­HUA

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.

ZHUO ZHONGWEI / XIN­HUA

Res­i­dents of Wuyuan, in Jiangxi prov­ince, per­form a dragon dance on Tues­day to cel­e­brate Mid-Au­tumn Festival, which falls on Thurs­day.

YANG GUANYU/ XIN­HUA

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.

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