All about Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival
The Full Moon Festival, which is also known as Tet Trung Thu in Vietnamese is a wonderful, ancient annual festival. This is the precious time for everyone gathering together, gazing at the moon and savoring the delicious mooncakes. When it comes to visit Vietnam during Full Moon Festival, tourists can see all the crowded streets are decorated with the colorful lights, beautiful lantern, and humorous masks. People pour into streets to enjoy various activities such as learn to make carp-shaped lanterns or watch a lion dance parade.
Vietnam’s Mid-Autumn Festival takes place on the full moon night (15th day of the 8th Lunar Month), equivalent to late September to early October of the Western calendar. This is the time when the moon appears larger and brighter than at any other times of the year. Mid-autumn Festival is held every year for 3 main purposes. Firstly, it is time for family and friend reunion as well as time for harvesting crops. This is the major reason why Mid-Autumn plays an important role in Vietnamese’s life. Secondly, it is the occasion for farmers send thanks for the harvest. Last but not least, it’s the time for Vietnamese people visit temples and pagoda to pray for good things for themselves and their family. Therefore, Mid-autumn Festival in Vietnam is likely to Halloween and Thanksgiving in Western.
There are some stories behind the origin of Mid-autumn Festival in Vietnam. Some said that it began when King Duong Minh Hoang in China strolled in Ngu Uyen Garden in full moon night of the 8th Lunar month, with the help of a magician, he was taken to the Palace on the Moon and got lost in this fairy scenery. Therefore, after coming back to the ground, the King ordered citizens to celebrate the party in every full moon night of Lunar August to reminisce about sceneries in the Moon. From that, the tradition of watching the moon, dancing and singing became one of the biggest holidays in Vietnam. Another said that Mid-autumn Festival is a chance for parents to spend time with their children after a busy harvest season. Whatever stories are, the main purpose of Mid-autumn Festival in Vietnam is giving relaxed time for everyone to enjoy life.
On the night of Lunar August 15th, various activities are held to celebrate the Mid-autumn Festival. Under the shining of the full moon, streets are full of happy people, who are playing traditional games in the animated atmosphere. In this day, parents buy their children drums, assorted masks or colorful animal toys made of rice dough. Children often make paper lanterns with their parent which is an opportunity to express and strengthen love among family’s members.
One of the most interesting activities in Mid-autumn Festival is Lion Dance. At full moon night, both non-professional and professional groups of children mimic a lion’s movements in lion costume and masks. They parade along the streets or go to houses and ask for permission to dance on their houses. This dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune to everybody.
Mid-autumn Festival in Vietnam can’t be complete without mooncake, the must-eat traditional pastry and the symbol dish of Mid-autumn in Vietnam. There are two main kinds of mooncakes: Banh Nuong (baked mooncake) and Banh Deo (sticky rice mooncake). The cakes are filled with dried sausage, lotus seeds, jam or ground beans and contain one or more salted egg yolks in the center as the symbol of the full moon. As time goes by, many modern recipes of mooncake with interesting ingredients are introduced to make it more diverse such as jelly mooncake or ice-cream mooncake. In Vietnam, people often buy mooncake for their family and friends as a gift. .
Statue of King Norodom: The statue siNorodomts on a horseback in the grounds of the Silver Pagoda. It was made by French artists in 1875 at Paris and was given to Cambodia by King Napoleon III in 1892. In front of the statue is a small pond with beautiful white lotuses.
Mid-autumn in Vietnam nowadays
In modern life Mid-autumn Festival is still a traditional and meaningful event. It is the chance for everyone to relieve all anxiety and stress or remember the youth, for children enjoy their childhood and remind them about the original and traditional of national cultures. Tourists will surely get new experiences and feel cheerful among the crowds of people in this Vietnamese special festival.