Today marks the beginning of the Mid-Autumn Festival!
Named Têt Trung Thu in Vietnamese, it is also known as the Children’s festival. It is said that name came about, as it’s a way for parents to make up for the lost time with their children during the busy harvesting season. So as well as celebrating the end of the harvest season, parents use this time to do something special with their children, all under the full moon, which represents fullness and prosperity of life!
Têt Trung Thu is like a combination of our Halloween and Thanksgiving. Children parade on the streets wearing costumes, while singing and carrying colourful lanterns of different sizes.
The dragon dance is a very prominent feature of the festival. Children will travel in groups, going from door to door and asking owners for their permission to perform the dance. If it is agreed, the children will put on a show, which includes colourful red and yellow dragons dancing around as well as drums that echo throughout the streets. Many believe this brings luck and fortune and the children will receive ‘li xi’ or lucky money as gratitude.
It is also customary to give Banh Trung Thu, moon cakes, which are traditionally very rich in taste. The cakes are filled with lotus seeds, ground beans and orange peels and have a bright yoke in the center to represent the moon.
To help children get ready, parents will help make lanterns, customs as well as teaching them about the history and culture of Vietnam.
This festival is definitely one of the favourites among Vietnamese families.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival Everyone!!