The Moon Festival dates back to the Song Dynasty in China, more than 1000 years ago. It traditionally falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, a date that coincides with the Autumn Equinox in the Western calendar. This festival celebrates the abundance and togetherness of family, much like Thanksgiving.
The Chinese all over the world celebrate this festival, from what I've read in the news. It used to be just a day to receive moon cakes from our Chinese friends, but because Bang had proposed celebrating it, I read up a little on it :)
So yes, Chinese communites from Shanghai and Beijing to Binondo to all other Chinatowns in the world from New York to Los Angeles to Scottsdale real estate properties, celebrate the Chinese Moon Cake or Mid-Autumn Festival.
Tonight, we had a Chinese-Filipino themed dinner. It was supposed to be just Chinese food in keeping with our theme, but dear Mother and Lola could not be stopped as they kept adding all sorts of Filipino food to our buffet table. Sigh. Oh well. Food was plentiful for sure! We had Dragon Balls (shrimp), Sweet and Sour Pork (of course!), awesome fried rice, fresh lumpia (yummmm!), some steamed fish cooked in the traditional Chinese way, lechon, fried chicken (mainly for the kids). For dessert we had black jelly with nata de coco (sounds gross, but totally GOOD, trust me!) care of Bang and mango sago (which I forgot to taste!).
I took photos but am too lazy to post them now :) Also, because we're a fun bunch ---hehehe--- we told everyone to come in some form of Chinese garb. I raided Mom's closet for this one, Japa borrowed from Noj, Raegan borrowed hers from Zhar, Raine wore Raegan's old chiongsam, Rogan had a chinese dragon polo, and Ranger just wore red because he didn't like Rogan's old chinese pajamas on him. Go figure. *roll eyes*
Everyone else wore Chinese, with the boys giving in when Randy came down decked in a baby blue Chinese polo. Japa then borrowed Noj's extra polo while Boydee scrounged around in his closet for a very wrinkled D.O.M-like chinese polo. Hehehe. Dic borrowed a white one from Boydee.
The best costume of the night had to go to Tito Rey who arrived in a long Chinese robe! Hahahahaha! He said this was the ONLY chinese thing that would fit him and he wore it over regular jeans and a shirt. Tito Lito then followed suit, as well as RJ, who snagged robes from Boydee and Bang.
Then it was on to the Dice Game. After paying the "entrance fee" (to fund the cash prizes), everyone sat at the long dinner table according to numbers we drew from a bowl. Then on his or her turn, the person would grab the 6 dice and throw it inside a bowl. All dice MUST stay in the bowl and the dice determined what you would win, if any. Prices ranged from P20 to a jackpot of P2000.....all for a P200 fee :)
The best part was that each winning combination of the dice (too complicated to list here) had a corresponding prize in HOPIA, a small, bean-filled cake/scone. The smaller prizes had these cute little hopia given to the dice roller. The jaw-dropping hugeness of the jackpot hopia was something to see, though! Hehehehe. It was the size of a PLATE!!!! Holy Cow!!! We told Elizza, the eventual winner of the jackpot with a roll of five twos, that she HAD to eat the dang hopia BEFORE she could claim her prize! Hahahahaha! Totally hilarious night, totally fun.
Thank you Bang for this wonderful idea and time to get together with family again. Hey---any excuse to celebrate with good food and family is always the best eh? *wink*