The Hanoitimes - The Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam is a festival for children when they are given toys, wear cosplay costumes, which are nearly the same as Halloween costumes, watching Kylin and Lion Dances, attending feasts and joining in lantern parades.
There will be a series of traditional and cultural activities for children and visitors to celebrate the Vietnamese Mid-Autumn festival this year at the Thang Long Imperial Citadel and the Old Quarter in the heart of Hanoi, promising to be a great chance to explore Vietnamese culture.
What to know about the Mid-Autumn Festival?
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Full Moon Festival and Harvest Moon Festival, traditionally falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the year in Lunar Calendar, which will coincide with September 13 this year.
The big ritual day is celebrated across East Asian countries including China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
In Vietnam, the celebrations are usually held one or two weeks before the due date in big cities with several cultural and traditional activities.
This is considered a big day for families to spend time together, have dinner and enjoy moon-cakes (or Banh Trung Thu in Vietnamese), a dense, sweet pastry that’s baked or steamed and typically enjoyed with lotus tea.
There are various types of moon-cakes, which are mostly filled with lotus paste and salted egg yolk while others contain red bean or date paste, as well as fruit, nuts, and seeds. Recently, modern moon-cakes are added with some new flavors of chocolate, green tea, among others.
The Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam is also a festival for children, when they are given toys, wear cosplay costumes, which are nearly the same as Halloween costumes, watch Kylin and Lion Dances, attend feasts and join in lantern parades.
Activities in Hanoi’s downtown to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival
1. Thang Long Imperial Citadel
- From September 6 to 8: “Festive Drums of Autumn Moon” will be held aiming to restore and recreate the vivid and joyful images and sounds of the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival. Especially noteworthy are the images of the drums of all shapes, sizes, and colors which are arranged and displayed to remind visitors of the festive ambiance in the countryside of Vietnam.
Additionally, all traditional activities in the festival including the folklore alternating love singing of people in the plain and the midland will be also performed by artisans at the Citadel.
There will be a program for children, where they may take part in practical and exciting activities such as watching lion dances, listening to trống quân singing, taking check-in photos outdoors in the wide and open space of the Citadel, which will be decorated with drums and star-shaped lanterns.
Kids will have a chance to try making moon-cakes or traditional toys such as painting mâché paper mask, kites, statuettes, sketches; matching pictures or kneading dough figurines. They will also take part in traditional games such as seesaw, slides, triangular hill, bamboo bridge, among others.
- The program for kids, in particular, is slated to last from September 6 to September 15.
2. The Old Quarter
- From September 6-13, at Kim Ngan Temple in Hang Bac street, there will be a program to introduce traditional Mid-Autumn Festival with the participation of artisans, who will present and teach audiences how to make traditional toys including star lantern, Mister Doctor, paper-kite and terracotta figurines, among others.
- Hanoi Ancient House at 87 Ma May will introduce a photo collection of the Old Quarter’s mid-Autumn in the 20th century.
- At the Cultural Exchange Center at 50 Dao Duy Tu, visitors will be taught traditional crafts including mask and bamboo light drawing, postcard making and painting on paper made from the bark of tree, among others.
- From September 6-8, Phung Hung Street will be bustling with several activities including booths introducing traditional toys as well as artisans and craftsman teaching some folkloric games “O an quan” (Mandarin Square Capturing), (Cuop Co) Flag Pillage, Danh Chuyen, Keo Co (Tugging), among others.
- In the evening of September 13, there will be a competition on arranging mid-Autumn feast themed "Mid-Autumn Festival to Remember Uncle Ho", a musical show of lantern parade, folk games, art shows, and circus, among others.
- In the evening of September 13, the pedestrian zone around Hoan Kiem Lake will also host several traditional and contemporary activities to celebrate the festival.