Vietnam is the country with many beautiful festivals. There are hundreds of festivals each year. Besides the Tet Holiday, the Mid-Autumn festival is one of the most famous festivals and it is a traditional celebration for Vietnamese children.
The Mid-Autumn festival dates back to the Rice Civilization of the Red River delta, over 4,000 years ago. It is fantastic and charming with its history. It is held on the 15th day on the 8th lunar month (often in late September or early October) in the middle of autumn and it is celebrated for a whole day. On this day, the adults and the parents prepare many different foods – Moon cakes, candies, biscuits, jellies, and fruit, such as grapefruit, longan fruit, bananas, apples, mango, etc. All of them are designed with fun symbols, for example: dog, cat, mouse …
Moon cakes are the specific cakes and are only on this festival. Moon cake, which is made from flavour, meat, egg, dried fruit, pumpkin’s seed, peanut, is so sweet and good tasting. Everyone sounds “How delicious Moon cakes are!” after tasting them and can’t say no with them. Moon cakes symbolise Luck, Happiness, Health and Wealth on the Mid-Autumn day.
Besides that, the children are provided with many nice lanterns – star lanterns, flower lanterns and diverse funny masks such as clown mask, lion mask, prince or princess mask for the special performance in the evening of the full moon. Everywhere is fallen in the active and colourful air. The main point of the Mid-Autumn is that children use the beautiful lanterns, wear funny masks, perform fantastic lion dances, sing folklore songs in the house’s grounds or in the streets when the moon is rising. It is really an exciting show.
The Mid-Autumn celebration is an opportunity for members of the family to visit together and share together everything in their year. The young generation express their gratitude to the old generation. The parents show their love for their children. Because the autumn is the time of the beginning of the new school year, so the adults and parents give gifts to the children. And the teenagers receive a lot of presents with many good luck wishes before the hard school time. The symbol PhD which is made from paper represents good wishes for success to pupils. For others, because the traditional time to have this festival is usually after harvesting the crops, it is as the congratulation for the full harvest.
Nowadays, although some of the traditional toys have been replaced by modern toys, the meaning and the performance has been kept and developed. It is certain that the Mid-Autumn day is important and famous for Vietnamese people. Everyone wants to join in it. And it really is a good example of the traditional culture of the Vietnamese.
by Tran Cam An, ELTO Intake 35 – Ministry of Justice, Vietnam