XI'AN, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- As Hong Kong archer Lam Shuk Ching exclaimed "hou sai lei" - meaning "very good" in Cantonese - the crowd burst out laughing. Two minutes previously, Lam and her teammates had raced to guess the meanings of the local dialect of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, aiming to win the paper-cutting artworks on the table.
Athletes and team managers from Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), Macao SAR and Shaanxi Province gathered on Monday in the intangible cultural heritage exhibition hall in the Athletes' Village at the 14th National Games, celebrating the coming Mid-Autumn Festival on Tuesday.
"For Chinese, Mid-Autumn Festival is an important day for family reunions," said Au Chi Kun, manager of the Macao track team.
"I usually spend the day with my family, but this year is different. I am here with my teammates and fellow athletes from all parts of China, which makes the occasion special," added Au, displaying the red paper flower he had just made.
Paper-cuttings, which were designed based on the mascot of the 14th National Games, caught all of their attention.
With the help of volunteers, everyone finished cutting a piece of red paper into a fine flower-shaped artwork.
"This artwork is formed in a circle, symbolizing happiness and unity for the celebration of the festival," said Lei Jun, inheritor of the paper-cutting tradition in Shaanxi.
Au carefully put away his paper-cutting, and said, "It is a unique gift. I will paste it on window in my apartment when I get back to Macao."
The mini stage of Shaanxi opera, which features folk songs and dances, had a sense of the festive atmosphere and excitement when athletes started to take selfies together.
"I'm deeply impressed by the long history and splendid culture of Shaanxi," commented Ma Hing Kin, archer of Team Hong Kong.
In the echo of the traditional opera, athletes in the hall exchanged their WeChat accounts. "Observing the festival with my teammates and friends from Macao and Shaanxi is unforgettable," added Ma.
"Maybe I am not strong enough to win the gold medal, but attending the event is really satisfying me," said 49-year-old Lam, "I feel like competing at home here."
"We have been preparing for years, so I really hope we can have good results in the coming events," noted Lei Xiaopeng, sprinter of Team Shaanxi.
In 2025, the 15th National Games will be jointly hosted by Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. "I'm looking forward to meeting all of you at the next National Games" said Au with joy. Enditem