‘Tet Trung Thu’ is a wonderful, ancient festival of Vietnam that revolves around children.
Festival dates back as far as 15-20,000 years ago in Southeast Asia. It is traditionally held on 15th day of the 8th Lunar Month. This festival is important to families in Vietnam for many years. Originally, festival was celebrated by parents for making up for lost time with their children. This festival was always held after harvest season.
Harvest was done by September so parents were anxious to spend time with their children. Parents wanted to do something special with the children. Also, they wanted to celebrate harvest after spending time working hard away from family. Festival was held under full moon that represents fullness and prosperity of life.
Story Related To ‘Tet Trung Thu’:
According to favourite folklore, there was a carp that wanted to become a dragon. The carp worked very hard and eventually transformed itself into a dragon. Thus, is the story behind mythical symbol ‘Ca hoa Rong’. Parents tell this story to their children to encourage them to work hard. In turn, children can become what they want to be.
There is also a story about how the Moon Lady ascended to the moon. A man named Chu Coi found a lucky tree that had special healing powers. This tree was sacred so people were forbidden to urinate at the foot of this tree. Unfortunately, Chu Coi’s wife, Chi Hang, forgot the rule and urinated on this tree. While Chi Hang was sitting on branch of sacred tree, it started growing continuously. Finally the sacred tree reached the moon. Ever since then, Chi Hang lived on the moon for the rest of her life. This was obviously a punishment for damaging the sacred tree.
Tet Trung Thu Celebration:
Children parade on streets while singing and carrying colourful lanterns of different sizes. Popular shapes of the lanterns include fishes, stars and butterflies. Even lantern that spins when a candle is inserted representing the earth circling the sun. Traditional dances such as dragon dance and flower dance are performed. Also, customarily people give ‘Banh Trung Thu’ [boxes of moon cakes], traditionally rich in taste. These cakes are filled with lotus seeds, ground beans and orange peels. They have a bright yoke in the centre to represent the moon.
Appropriately, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also called the Children’s Festival. Children are helped to get ready for this festival. Parents help them make their lanterns and costumes for lantern procession. Also, parents discuss history and culture of Vietnam.
Parents show their love for their children. Also, teaching Vietnam’s love for their children is a wonderful reason to celebrate.