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Virtual Mooncakes Replacing Holiday Traditions

Mooncake manufacturers and restaurants are no longer the only commercial beneficiaries at Mid-Autumn Festival. Increasing numbers of Chinese people, particularly young ones, are celebrating the traditional festival in a thoroughly modern way with mobile phone text messaging, musical e-cards and even virtual mooncakes.


In Shenzhen, busy work schedules keep many people from joining distant families for the holiday, making the ability to share the holiday cheer at long distance a much-appreciated service.


With a click of the mouse, you can choose from more than 60 types of virtual mooncakes and have them instantly delivered to friends or relatives in faraway places. Fruit, lotus jam, duck-egg yolk -- cyberspace mooncakes have all the variety of those in the real world, and with no worries about freshness.


Flash illustrations and festival-related songs and music make mooncake e-cards a feast for the ears as well as the eyes. For those who fear high fat and excessive sugar but want to share the festive atmosphere, savoring virtual mooncakes is healthy and definitely low-cal.


The most popular site at the Mid-Autumn Festival e-card billboard boasts more than 200,000 users.


Telecommunication operators are also smiling.


“Last year, there were around 180 million short messages sent via mobile phones in China during the festival. This year we expect the figure to double,” said an industry insider surnamed Liu. There are more than 50 versions of short messages featuring festival wishes available.


(Shenzhen Daily September 29, 2004)

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