Mid-autumn Festival 2019 - The Most Vibrant Vietnamese Celebration

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important festivals in Vietnamese culture. Primarily a harvest festival, the Magical Mid-Autumn Festival also doubles as the Children’s Festival in this country. This mid-season celebration is quite an old festival famous for its distinct features. Some of the major attractions of the Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam are lion dances, mooncakes and lanterns.

The Mid-Autumn Festival 2019 and Upcoming Dates

Celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month, following the lunar calendar, The Mid-Autumn Festival corresponds to the full moon day that falls near the Autumnal Equinox. Celebrations are held either later September or early October according to the Gregorian calendar.

Dates:
2019 - 13th September
2020 - 1st October
2021 - 21st September
2022 - 10th September

Witness The Celebrations - Venue

Mid-Autumn Festival
Celebrations at Hoi An
Source

Hoi An is regarded as the best Vietnamese city to experience the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations.  

Mid-Autumn Festival Activities

Children are the primary focus of the Mid-Autumn Festival. With festivities including lion dance parades, dragon boat races and lantern fairs, The Mid-Autumn Festival is an event of gratitude and an opportunity for families to spend quality time. Dragon boat races and Lantern fairs are also quite common.

Gratitude Is The Game
Younger generations express their appreciation towards older generations with extra love and plenty of presents. The Mid-Autumn Festival is the perfect example of traditional Vietnamese culture.

About the Mid-Autumn Festival

Origin With Chinese origins, The Mid-Autumn Festival is a Vietnamese harvest festival celebrated across several Asian countries. However, the Vietnamese version of the festival associates its unique traditions and legends to the Mid-Autumn Festival. Exclusively The Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival
Known as the Tet Trung Thu in Vietnamese, The Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations include the Children’s Festival and the Full Moon Festival as well.

The Mid-Autumn Children's Festival  

Mid-Autumn Festival
Vietnamese kids having an excellent lantern night
Source
Alternatively referred to as the Children’s Festival in Vietnam; The Mid-Autumn Festival emphasises the celebration of children. Donning paper mache masks and carrying lanterns, children traditionally participate in night parades, under the full moon. Gifted plenty of goodies and good wishes for the upcoming academic year, The Mid-Autumn Festival hosts exclusive activities for children.

Two Reasons Why - The Mid-Autumn Festival Is Also The Children's Festival
1. Vietnamese ancestors believed that children possess the closest connection to nature, owing to their innocence and purity of mind.
2. The Children's Festival is a great way to catch up with the lost time, as parents often lose quality time with their children due to tedious harvest work.

Mid-Autumn Festival Food - Mooncakes

Mid-Autumn Festival
A delicious mooncake platter
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The hallmark of this auspicious day and the most popular tradition of the Mid-Autumn Festival, the mooncake is a pastry rich in a lotus seed paste or sweet bean paste filling. Stalls selling mooncakes pop up around every corner across the city. Distributions of fully decorated boxes piled with a wide variety of mooncakes occur during the Mid-Autumn Festival. This traditional dessert comes in an infinite variety of savoury and sweet flavours.

The symbolism of the Mooncake
The round shape of the mooncake is believed to symbolise reunion and completeness. Sharing these round mooncakes with family members during the week of the Mid-Autumn Festival signifies the unity of the families.

Mid-Autumn Festival Traditions - The Lion Dances Tonight

Mid Autumn Festival
Vietnamese Lion Dance
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An essential event of the Mid-Autumn Festival, Lion Dances feature vibrant performances by trained professionals and non-professional children’s groups. These dance parades are taken onto the streets, asking each house to permit their lively presentations. The Lion further dances only after consent. With streets echoing with drum beats, Lion Dances are a fascinating aspect of the Mid-Autumn Festival with numerous children participants.

Belief Behind The Lion Dance
The lion dance is believed to be a fortune blessing for homes. Hosts offer the Lion Dance groups lucky money in gratitude.

The God of Earth - Worship During The Mid-Autumn Festival
With a worshipping platform set up in the backyard, families gather under the moon-lit night sky with platters of Mooncakes, snacks and fruits. Families further offer these food trays to their ancestors as they pray before their mooncake-feast, as they appreciate the moon. Only upon total food consumption, the worship platforms are dismantled, as per traditional Vietnamese culture. 

Mid-Autumn Festival History - Past Beliefs and Customs

Fruits and cakes are prepared as elaborate food displays and further consumed during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Food Customs Rice paste moulded into animal shapes is also dipped in natural food dyes in certain Vietnamese regions. The ancient belief held that a girl capable of putting the centrepiece together by herself was also capable of being a good wife.

Love and The Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival
Couples having a pleasant time during the festival
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Often regarded as a joyous marriage occasion, the Mid-Autumn Festival witnesses 21st-century youngsters and young adults using this time as a possible time to meet 'The One'. Meeting

Finding 'The One' During the Mid-Autumn Festival
Assembling in groups in a courtyard and singing under the moonlit sky is one of the common customs supporting this belief. The group would continue to perform until a man and a woman sweep the show. Prizes and matrimonial prospects are outcomes of the win.

Season of Babies - The Mid-Autumn Fertility Festival
The Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations also symbolise a prayer for fertility through bountiful harvests and improvised livestock number. These prayers for conception gradually evolved into a celebration of children.

Mid-Autumn Festival Lanterns - Highlights

Mid Autumn Festival
A tree adorned with beautifully lit lanterns
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Lanterns are the main celebrations of the Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam. Handcrafted shadow lanterns continue to be a significant part of the Mid-Autumn festivities. In addition to traditional lights, there are plenty of modern, plastic lamps depicting global characters such as Spongebob, Pokemon and Hello Kitty. By the Vietnamese tradition, the lantern extravaganza occurs during the night.

The Backstory of The Tradition
These lanterns mark winter's end as they are believed to signify wishes and prayers for the sun’s warmth and light.

Mid-Autumn Festival Cities - Best Places to Be At During The Festival

Hoi An

Mid Autumn Festival
Events and activities at Hoi An during the Mid Autumn Festival
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Hoi An is the best Vietnamese city to enjoy the Mid-Autumn festivities. Famous for its full moon celebrations throughout the year, Hoi An distinguishes electric lights throughout the city on the full moon night. With beautiful lanterns adorning the Hoi An streets, the festive atmosphere comprises of lots of music and explosive celebrations, especially along the banks of the Thu Bon River. Hang Ma street in Hoi An is an exclusive venue to experience the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations.

Ho Chi Minh City

Mid Autumn Festival
Lit up Hoi Chi Minh City streets during the Mid Autumn festival
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Famous for its lanterns, masks and unicorn heads, the streets and sidewalks of Ho Chi Minh City overflow with them. Also regarded as the perfect city to pick up any lion or unicorn head souvenir, Ho Chi Minh City also houses established stores selling unicorn heads to dancers for over five decades.  

Hanoi

Mid Autumn Festival
Hanoi Mid Autumn Celebrations 
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Packed with families shopping for a variety of toys and lanterns, Hanoi also witnesses several local artisans preparing their festive crafts. Numerous children’s musical shows are a part of the Hanoi Mid-Autumn festivities as well.

Mid Autumn Festival
Mid-autumn festive atmosphere
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The Mid-Autumn Festival is more than just a moon-appreciating occasion. The Mid-Autumn festive season holds great significance among Vietnamese culture and tradition. With evolved customs and rituals of the Mid-Autumn Festival now hosts an array of exciting activities. A fascinating place by itself, Vietnam glows during the Mid-Autumn Festival, making the region a surreal one!

This post was published by Ruthvi Reddy

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