How To Play the Mooncake Dice Game
Tomorrow, our Chinese friends will be celebrating the Mooncake Festival, a celebration of the autumn equinox and the moon, when it’s supposed to be at its roundest. The festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar.
The delicious, delicious mooncake *drools*
It dates back 3,000 years ago when Chinese emperors worshipped the moon for a good harvest. Today, the Chinese community, and everyone who wants to join in on the fun, eat mooncakes, a sinfully-delicious pastry with a crust made of the yolk from salted duck eggs, and filled with red bean or lotus seed taste. In the middle is one or a few salted duck egg yolks to symbolize the full moon.
You don’t need dice this big, but it sure would be fun! (Photo from Synotrip)
Of course, we Filipinos think the mooncakes are the best thing about the Mooncake Festival, because of course: food. But if there’s one thing that could make the celebration even more festive, it’s the Mooncake Dice Game. Come on, who doesn’t like games? And if it means possible winning a grand prize, it’s sure to make the day even more memorable!
The Mooncake Dice Game was first developed 1,500 years ago, and little has changed over the years. It was used by scholars of the time looking for success in imperial exams. Today, it is used by the Chinese community and their Filipino friends to win big. All you need to play is six dice, a big bowl, and 63 prizes. That’s right! Everyone has a chance to win the Mooncake Dice Game!
The prizes are the best part of the game. You can ask everyone in the family to contribute. You can even have a certain budget for each prize. You will need:
- 32 pieces of 6th place prizes
- 16 pieces of 5th place prizes
- 8 pieces of 4th place prizes
- 4 pieces of 3rd place prizes
- 2 pieces of 2nd place prizes
- 1 piece of 1st place prize
The prizes can be as simple or as extravagant you want. You can use food, gift certificates, money, tickets to a movie or a concert, or even a gadget if your family is up to chipping in for a new toy!
Here’s a guide to the winning combinations, which you can print out (photos from Animetric’s World)
The mechanics are simple: you roll the dice, and you win a prize based on the dice combinations, which are named after imperial titles. Each player rolls one per turn, until all the prizes have been given out. If a die rolls out of the bowl, you lose your turn. Here are the winning combinations and what you can win:
- If you roll one 4 + assorted numbers, this is called the Xicuai and you win a 6th place prize
- If you roll two 4s + assorted numbers, this is called the Juren and you win a 5th place prize
- If you roll three 4s + assorted numbers, this is called Tanhua and you win a 4th place prize
- If you roll four of the same number, except 4, this is called Jinshi and you win a 3rd place prize
- If you roll 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, or three of the same number and three of another number, this is called Bangyan and you win a 2nd place prize
- If you roll four 4s or five of any number, this is called Zhuang Yuan and you win the 1st place prize
But the best combination, which can win ALL the prizes, even those that have been already won is:
- If you roll six 1s or six 4s, this is called the Ultimate Throw and you are the Ultimate Champion (we made the Ultimate Champion up)
That’s it! It’s the kind of simple but fun game where you can win great prizes with the roll of the dice. Good luck, enjoy, and may the odds be ever in your favor!
What are you doing for the Mooncake Festival? Share your plans with us!
How To Play the Mooncake Dice Game