Mid-Autumn Festival is a festival held in the middle of August in some East Asian countries such as China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan and Korea. Besides, this day is a national holiday in Taiwan, North Korea and South Korea. In Vietnam, this is considered to be children’s festival. As a result, there are a host of fun activities for children to be involved in on this occasion. Following are common activities for the mid-autumn festival in Vietnam.
In some rural areas where neighboring relationships are still preserved and appreciated, people often allow their children to carry lanterns around the village and hamlets during the night of the mid-autumn.
Lion dance is usually held before the Mid-autumn Festival. Many streets in Vietnam are crowded with groups of lion dance during the festival, especially the nights of 15th and 16th.
The center of the Mid-Autumn Festival is usually a dog made of grapefruit and fixed to the eyes two black beans. Surrounding areas are arranged with fruits and mooncakes or the cake with common shapes such as mother pigs accompanied by its fat children or carps. Grapefruit seeds are usually peeled and stabbed with steel wires and dried for between two and three weeks before the full moon. On the night of the mid-autumn, the steel wires of grapefruit seeds are burned in the fire. Typical and indispensable fruits and foods on this occasion include bananas, green rice, diospyros decandra, persimmons, custard apples and grapefruits. When the moon comes out, family members will together enjoy the taste of the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Making Mid-Autumn Toys
Masks, star-shaped lanterns and lion heads are the most popular toys during the Mid-Autumn Festival. In the Southern Vietnam, Hoi An and Saigon are well known for their handicraft with common products for Mid-Autumn Festival such as decorative lanterns and paper lanterns for.
There are two types of mooncakes that Vietnamese people often enjoy at Mid-Autumn Festival including “bánh nướng” and “bánh dẻo”
The crust of “Bánh nướng” is made from wheat flour and a bit of cooking oil. The sugar that is mixed with the cake crust is usually cooked with the malt to turn into amber color and should be kept for a long time before being used. Previously, in Vietnam, the stuffing of “bánh nướng” was the mixture of lemon leaf, fatback, jam, watermelon seed and sausage.
Traditionally, roasted rice flour, cooled boiled sugar water and grapefruit blossom water are main ingredients used for making “bánh dẻo”. The cake stuffing is made of cooked food. After being kneaded and put into a mould, “bánh dẻo” can be used without taking into the oven.
Trống quân singing
Trống quân singing is very popular on Mid-Autumn Festival. Two groups of boys and girls will make responses through songs while beating a barbed wire or a steel wire or wire strung on an empty vessel to produce the rhythm of the song. The response when singing Trống Quân always brings fun atmosphere and sometimes interesting situations occur because of challenging puzzles.
Watch the moon
MFestivaln festival is not only an occasion for children to have fun but also a chance for Vietnamese people to watch the moon for the prediction about crops and national destiny. If the autumn moon is yellow, the crop will be abundant. Meanwhile, if the moon is blue or green, disaster will arrive in that year. On the other hand, the moon is bright and orange, the country will achieve a year of prosperity.