How do you keep track of passing time? Do you think of it in terms of months or do you base it on the special occasions happening throughout the year? For the average person, a year may be composed of New Year, Holy Week, Summer, and Jose Marie Chan Season, but for Chinoys, there’s also the Mid-Autumn Festival to look forward to. Of course, the Mid-Autumn Festival would not be complete without mooncakes and dice games, but since the pandemic began, we all had to find creative ways to do the latter because of quarantine restrictions. Dice games now likely don’t look the same as before, but while we’re still waiting for things to go back to normal, let’s look back on the 8 things you’ve probably experienced during dice games.
1. Thinking that you won Chong Wan
We all say that we go to dice games to bond with family and friends, and while that’s true for the most part, we’re also in it for the Chong Wan or the jackpot. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing most of your dice land on 4s, hearing someone shout the words “Chong Wan”, and hearing everyone else congratulate you. In that moment, you’re thrust into the spotlight. You feel like you’re on top of the world–like you can do anything. And then one round later, someone else dices higher than you, and you can only hope that you are lucky enough to score another Chong Wan or just sulk in defeat.
2. Having to wait a long time for your turn
Dice games are also gatherings among friends and family, so there are usually a lot of people playing on one table. As the saying goes, the more the merrier, and dice games wouldn’t be as fun if there were only four people passing a bowl around. The downside of playing with so many people is that you have to wait a long time before the bowl circles back to you. And you might scroll through your phone while waiting, but there is palpable excitement in the air during times like this, so your eyes are just trained on the bowl the whole time.
3. Feeling frustrated when your dice bounces out the bowl
Sometimes, we get a little too enthusiastic when it comes to throwing the dice, to the point where some of them even bounce out of the bowl. The standard rule is that you’re not allowed to throw it again when that happens, and even though you would usually get a consolation prize, it’s still a little frustrating, especially when you’ve waited so long for your turn. Who knows, that could have been a Chong Wan!
4. Ending up with consolation prizes every round
There are times when luck just isn’t on your side, and you keep ending up with consolation prizes after every round. You tell yourself it’s going to be better in the next round, and you might occasionally get 5th or 6th prize, but never any higher. When you do finally get a good prize, you find out that someone already won it, so you have to settle for…yet another consolation prize.
5. Winning prizes that you don’t know what to do with
Winning prizes during the dice game is the best feeling in the world. Sometimes you win money or food, while other times, you win trinkets. It doesn’t matter what the prizes are, as long as you’re not walking away with only consolation prizes, then you’re happy. It’s not until you get home with a bagful of prizes that you realize you don’t know what to do with some of them, so they just end up sitting at the corner of your room collecting dust.
6. Doing various rituals for luck
It doesn’t matter if you’re the type of person who believes in rituals or not. When you’re in a dice game, you’re willing to do anything to make sure you get that Chong Wan. So you blow on the dice and shake your hands vigorously before throwing them in the bowl. These actions would probably make you look like an idiot during normal circumstances, but since you’re in a dice game, you might as well be extra.
7. Turning the dice game table into a picnic table
This happens a lot, especially when most of the prizes are food. One minute, you’re all rolling dice, and the next minute, the dice game suddenly turns into a picnic as the people around you whip out their snacks and begin to pass them around.
8. Being part of the last table standing
You’ve likely been in a table where it seems like everyone is winning Chong Wan, so you’ve also likely experienced the opposite where no one is winning Chong Wan (or any of the top prizes), so you all have to keep playing until someone eventually does. The thing is, it doesn’t always happen immediately, so while the people from other tables are already chatting or packing up, you’re still stuck at your table, furiously trying to win the Chong Wan.