LEGEND OF MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL IN VIETNAM
The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the two most popular festivals in Vietnam, and has been significant to Vietnamese families for many years.
History and celebration of the Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival
Unlike Chinese legend, the origin of Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam is totally different. It is said that originally, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a chance for parents to make up for lost time with their children after harvest season which was usually done by September, (Mid August in the Lunar calendar) and the parents were anxious to spend time with their children and do something special with them, as well as celebrate the harvest, after spending much time working hard and away from the family. It was held under the full moon, which represents fullness and prosperity of life.
Tet Trung Thu in Vietnam is very much like a combination of Halloween and Thanksgiving in Western. Children parade on the streets, while singing and carrying colorful lanterns of different sizes. Some of the popular shapes include fishes, stars, butterflies and a lantern that spins when a candle is inserted, representing the earth circling the sun.
How Do Vietnamese people celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival?
It’s also a tradition for the Vietnamese to light lanterns during the Mid-Autumn night. A legend went that a carp spirit once killed many during Mid-Autumn night, so that no household dared go outside that night.
Later, a wise man thought of an idea. He made a carp-shaped lantern with a stick in its belly, and then advised people to walk at night with a carp lantern in hand. The carp spirit was terrified by the light from the carp-shaped lanterns, and dared not go out to kill at Mid-Autumn since then.
Now children hold various kinds of paper lanterns and play in the moonlight while eating moon cakes during the evening of Mid-Autumn Day.
Mid-Autumn in Vietnam today
Nowadays, parents dont spend time helping their children make a lantern as they can buy it at the stores or lantern streets. But parents always would like to show their love for children and teach Vietnam’s love for them. That’s what stays with us until now.
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