Mid Autumn Festival in VietnamUnder Blog, Eat, play, watch, Upcoming events, Vietnam News
Mid Autumn Festival is a very popular harvest festival celebrated in Vietnam and China. In Vietnam, it named “Tet Trung thu” and the festival is especially enjoyed by Vietnamese children. Although 2 countries have some common things in culture: both have fairy tales regarding the origin of Full Moon festival and during this time people gather to enjoy tea and Moon Cake while admiring the beauty of the moon and telling folktales, Mid Autumn Festival in Vietnam still has its unique characteristic.
The festival annually takes place on 15th of 8th Lunar month. On this special day, Vietnamese families organize activities around their children. Parents buy facial masks and lanterns for their children so that they can participate in a candlelit lantern procession in the evening. There are quite many kinds of lanterns but most popular ones are lanterns with star shape which represents brightness. One spectacular performance of the festival is Unicorn/Lion dancing on the street, which is often performed by a group of young teenagers. They go to every houses to show their dance as a blessing of luck and fortune for the home and in return, the family host will give them some lucky money.
In the evening of Full Moon, Vietnamese families often make a big feast with a lot of fruits, candies and the most special thing that cannot miss is Moon Cake. Besides Banh Nuong (Baked cake), Vietnam has another type of Moon Cake which is so-called Banh Deo (Snow skin cake). Under the silvery moon, parents tell their children fairy tales, each of them has its certain meaning but in general, parents want to encourage their children to study hard by conveying the message of the story to them. There are two popular folktales associated with the festival. The first legend is about “Cuoi”, a lucky man found a tree that had healing power. Since the tree is quite sacred, nobody is allowed to urinate at the root of this tree. Unfortunately, Cuoi’s wife forgot the rule and urinated on the tree. The tree began to grow towards the moon and Cuoi, trying to pull it back down to earth, floated to the moon with it, leaving him stranded there. That’s why every year children light lanterns in parade to show Cuoi the way back to the Earth. Another story is about a carp that wants to become a dragon. The carp worked and worked so hard and eventually transformed itself into a real dragon.
Up to now, Mid-Autum Festival remains a special day for children and still a meaningful tradition. The festival shows a gratitude towards family relationship and friendship.