The Mid-Autumn Festival

Sunday, September 4th, 2022 - 11:02 AM

Tet Trung Thu or the Mid-Autumn Festival as it is called in Vietnamese as we call it in other countries is a wonderful ancient festival centered around children. Tet Trung Thu in Vietnam takes place on the night of the full moon (August 14-Eighth lunar month), the most enchanting and picturesque night of the year.  If you look at the moon on this day, you will notice that its orbit is at its lowest angle to the horizon, making the moon appear brighter and larger than at any other time of the year.  So, in honor of the beautiful full moon, a festival was accompanied with a range of entertainment activities, especial  join the Mid-Autumn Festival with traditional lantern parade. The festival includes the customs of gazing at the moon, a procession of stars and moon-shaped lanterns, lion dance, and the celebration of parties with moon cakes and other cookies. At  school, they often organize music programs with songs about the mid-autumn festival and play plays about The Moon Lady- The Moon boy, then they give snack, cookies, candies for children.

 There are several explanations for this phenomenon, as well as the tradition of celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival. Some said it began in China in the early 8th century under the reign of King Duong Minh Hoang. According to ancient manuscripts, the emperor often wanted to visit the palace on the moon. Then, with the help of a wizard, he was taken to Luna and greeted by a bunch of beautiful fairies.

He expressed his admiration for her dance called Nghe Thuong Vu Y and tried to memorize it. Later he accidentally discovered that there were similarities between the styles of Nghe Thuong Vu Y and Ba La Mon. After combining the two styles of singing and dancing into one, he gradually made it known to everyone in his distant ruling lands. The tradition of gazing at the moon, dancing and singing later became a traditional event in the mid-autumn celebration. An important event before and during the Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival is the lion dance.

Both amateur and professional groups of children perform dances in the streets or go into houses. If the host accepts, "the lion" enters and starts dancing as a congratulation. In addition to the lion dance, it is customary to offer banh trung thu, boxes of mooncakes that traditionally have a very rich flavor. The cakes are filled with lotus seeds, pork, ground beans and orange peel and have a salted duck egg yoke representing the moon in the middle.