Xiamen Travel Tips
Climate and Weather
Xiamen has a subtropical oceanic climate. From July to September the summer is warm with temperatures reaching
37'C. Winter is cool with average temperature around 11'C. The best season for visiting Xiamen is from May to July.
Local Festivals and Folk Custom
On the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar is one of the Chinese traditional fesitival - the Mid-Autumn Festival. For centuries, the Mid-Autumn Festival represents family reunions, big feasts and enjoyment of a beautiful full moon in mine of Chineses. But for people in Xiamen, they has special activity known as “Moon-cake Gambling” to celabreate the festival.
Although it named “gambling”, it is definitely legal. Because the stakes among the locals are mooncakes - and that is how this unique celebrating activity has got its Chinese name "Bo Bing." It is played only around the Mid-Autumn Festival among troops undre the approvement of General Zheng.
As a game well combining culture, folk custom and recreation, moon cake gambling soon got popular. "Bo Bing" has become a popular traditional activity among local people. On every Mid-Autumn Festival, family members gather to gamble mooncakes, deep in arguments about who will be the winner.
Easy to play though, the games have quite complicated rules hard to remember. So it is thoughtful for some mooncake manufacturers to print the rules on the package.
All the "Bo Bing" game requires are six dice and a china bowl. Just throw the dice into the bowl - and the different pips you get stand for different ranks of awards you will win.
The gambling game has six ranks of awards, which are named as the winners in ancient imperial examinations, and has 63 different sized mooncakes as prizes.
From the lowest to the highest, the titles of six ranks are Xiucai (the one who passed the examination at the county level), Juren (a successful candidate at the provincial level), Jinshi (a successful candidate in the highest imperial examination), Tanhua, Bangyan and Zhuangyuan (respectively the number three to number one winners in the imperial examination at the presence of the emperor).
Game players throw the dice by turns. Different pips they count win the player a relevant "title" and corresponding type of mooncakes.
For instance, one die of four pips wins you "Xiucai" and the smallest mooncake. And if you get four or more dice of four pips, then congratulations - you win "Zhuangyuan."
The lucky player who gets the pips to make it the title of "Zhuangyuan," which stand for the first prise in Chinese ancient times, will be the biggest winner in the game, and gain the largest mooncake. The success would bring great honour to both him and his family, followed with a high-level position and a great sum of money.
The game provides 32 mooncakes for "Xiucai," 16 for "Juren" and the rest may be deduced by analogy. Only one player will win the lucky title "Zhuangyuan." That is why a total of 63 mooncakes are prepared for the game. Also cake confectioneries will produce many kinds of gambling cakes to cater to the market.
Xiamen people believe that the person who wins "Zhuangyuan" in the game, will have good luck that year. And the Mid-Autumn Festival is the second important holiday in Xiamen besides Spring Festival.
With the upgrade of people's living standards, nowadays, the mooncakes are not the only kind of award but some thing others such as daily necessities, household appliances and even money can also be won. What's more, people add some funny rules that if the dice read "six," then forget all those boring ranks. Turn off all the lights, and then seize as many prizes as possible in the darkness. It is a combination of good memory, high speed and a strong body.
Changes of prizes has made the game even popular among younger generations.When walking along streets in this tiny island during this time, you will hear the pleasant silvery sound of the dice rolling. Cheers of winning or loss are everywhere.
"Gongfu" Tea from Fujian Province
Other Odds and Ends
Phone Dialing Code: 0592
Traffic alarm: 122
Local telephone inquiry station: 114
Emergency center: 120
Tourist complaint: 86-592-5318985
Mayor hotline: 86-592-5053333
Taxi complaint: 86-592-5615610
Price supervision: 86-592-12358
Complaint telephone of public security bureau: 86-592-2025502
Complaint telephone of industrial and commercial bureau: 86-592-12315
Weather Forecast: 12121
Tourism Information Inquiry: 86-592-1858
Airport Information Desk: 86-592-6028940
Service Hotline of Xiamen Airline Ticket Center: 86-592-2226666
Passenger Transport Information Desk of Railway Station: 86-592-3988666
Passenger Information Desk of Long-distance Bus Terminal:86-592-2215238
Money exchange is offered in any one of the exchange counters of Bank of China in Ximen. The banks’ services are considerate and all banks have Credit card: the use of credit card is prevalent. Credit Cards can be used at hotels, touring and shopping places. However, you should check in advance the type of your cards.
Location: No.422, Siming South Road, Siming District, Xiamen, Fujian
This is the informantion for your reference ( http://www.xmu.edu.cn/ )
Location: Jimei District