Annually on the 15th August of the Lunar Calendar, it is easily to catch up the boisterous atmosphere created by delighted laugh of children and the interesting rhythm of popular song “Carry the star-shaped lantern” throughout Vietnam, from urban to rural areas. It is the Mid-Autumn festival (Tet Trung Thu), considered one of the biggest traditional festival in Vietnam.

Special lantern in the Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival

It is told that the Mid-Autumn Festival originally is held to celebrate the harvest season and present the honor to the Natural Deities. For several oriental countries, because of seeing the relation between humans’ life and the moon, on this occasion, people observe moon to predict the weather to prepare for the next harvest. Besides, it is also a great opportunity for parents to make up to their children for the busy time of harvest season. Therefore, within the festival, parents hold several special activities with the hope of bringing happiness to their kids. It is held within the full moon, presenting the fullness and prosperity of life.

Vietnamese children in Mid-Autumn Festival

Below are several major activities taking place in this special festival:

1.“Pha co”

The “Pha co” activity usually takes place during the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival (15/08 of the Lunar Calendar), in which a variety of foods including some indispensable food like moon cakes, grapefruit and green rice flakes are served. It is set up outside the house so that people can both enjoy traditional cuisines and appreciate the moon. This occasion is also the time for family and friends union under the full moon, representing the fullness and prosperity of life.

A tray of fruits and moon cakes

2.Carrying star-shaped lanterns and perform lion dance

Lighting and carrying star-shaped lantern is a special activity for children, in which children with colorful lanterns of a village or a street gather, form a queue head by a lion-dancer and walk around the village singing popular songs about this special festival. Sometimes, the crowd stops so that the lion dancer can make some performances. With joyful laugh of children, funny rhythm of popular songs, exciting drumbeat, the colorful lanterns and the bright moon, night in villages and streets in Vietnam is hardly so boisterous.

A picture of traditional Mid-Autumn Festval in Vietnam

3.Other Activities

In addition to aforementioned activities, there are also several other ones such as taking part in lantern-making and painting, telling kids the traditional folktale about Chu Cuoi and Hang Nga or making rice figurines (to he).

Rice figurines

4. How to celebrate as a tourist

If your Vietnamese vacations fortunately fall in the Mid-Autumn Festival, savor it because foreigners are welcome to take part in the special occasion. This year, the festival happens on October 4th. Should you be in Hanoi excursions, you is highly recommended to visit the Hang Ma street to watch thousands of beautiful lanterns in diversified shapes with various colors, papier – mache masks of myth characters and children toys exposed in stores along the street. Besides, you participate as volunteer in some programs held for disable or disadvantaged children which can make your trip more meaningful.

Hang Ma Street in the Mid-Autumn Festival

If you have any further questions about the Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam, Hanoi excursions or even Vietnamese vacations, don’t hesitate contacting us. Let C-Vietnam make your Mid-Autumn Festival unforgettable.