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Vietnam is known as one of the most traditional Asian country which has many festivals. Besides the Tet Holiday, Tet Trung Thu (Mid-autumn Festival/Full Moon Festival) becomes a famous traditional celebration for Vietnamese children. Tet Trung Thu is the day when the moon is at its brightest in a year and is held on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Lunar calendar (meaning Friday, September 13th this year according to the Gregorian calendar). Let’s see how Vietnamese celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in this article.
Vietnamese children are often gifted lanterns by their parents in Mid-Autumn Festival. The lanterns have different shapes and can also resemble 5-stars, animals, plants, cars, cartoon characters or flowers and can be made with simple materials like bamboo sticks, paper, silk, wood, candles,etc.
Nowadays, the hand-made larnterns have lost their ground because of the appearance of plastic electric larnterns run by batteries which can play music. Parents also take their children to the parks which is decorated by colorful lanterns, which provide a beautiful view at night.
Eating Mooncakes — The Most Representative Tradition
There are so many types of Mooncakes in Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival such as baked Mooncakes and sticky rice Mooncakes include the following ingredients: dried candied fruits, roasted melon seeds, lime leaves, sugar, lard, lotus seeds, sesame seeds, roasted peanuts, chicken/fork, salted eggs yolks,etc. Mooncakes symbolise Luck, Happiness, Health and Wealth so that every family in Vietnam usually eats it together in this day.
Besides the traditional square shapes, animal shaped baked and sticky rice mooncakes are also very popular, especially among the children. The most seen shapes are pigs, bunnies (with their eyes made from black beans) and fish.
Dragon/Lion Dance (Mua Lan)
The must things to do on Mid-Autumn Festival is go out to watch Lion/Dragon Dance on the street. Performers move from house to house to ask the owners for their permission to perform the lion dance and then receive lucky money which hung on nearby trees. Every year young children gather together to dress up as Lân and beat their drums. This dance is believed to drive out devil and bring fortune to anyone.
Worshiping the God of Earth (Cung Dat/ Pha Co)
Vietnamese family usually set up a worshiping flatform with fruit, snack, mooncakes, candy and sugarcane in the middle of the yard or in front of the door during the night of Tet Trung Thu. This is an opportunity for children to understand the loving care of their parents in a concrete way.
If you have a chance to visit or stay in Vietnam in the time of Mid-Autumn Festival, do not hesitate to go out and enjoy the traditional atmosphere here. The Mid-Autumn Festival becomes a Festival for Children, but adults also participate a little in it. Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam is a very meaningful custom – the meaning of caring, filial piety, gratitude, friendship, reunion, and love.