The Vietnamese Mid-Autumn festival is a unique cultural experience travelers should consider taking part in if they are visiting Vietnam during the time it is celebrated. This article will give you some information about what to expect and where you can take part in festivities throughout the country.
The Vietnamese Mid-Autumn festival kicks off in the middle of the fall. That’s when the weather turns a little cooler after the unpleasantly hot summer and the moon is a beautiful, perfectly round sphere. Traditionally, the 15th of Lunar August is the highlight of the festival which is regarded as Tết Đoàn Viên – Family Union holiday. This is Vietnamese children’s favorite festival in Vietnam. Older generations as well look forward to the day to enjoy seeing their descendants having fun under the shining golden moon.
Just as American children get excited when Halloween comes a Vietnamese share the same excitement for the Mid-Autumn festival. October and Lunar August seem to be a favorite time of all children of all cultures.
Trung Thu, the Vietnamese translation for the Mid-Autumn festival has been the word that people call and keep mentioning over and over again before and during the festive time especially the Vietnamese children. The festival falls on the full moon night of Lunar August which is the most beautiful night all year round, when the moon is perfectly round and bright in its magically shining gold.
In Vietnam, Mid-Autumn festival hasn’t been approved as an official holiday and children do not have a day off from school to celebrate it but they are super excited to enjoy a night packed with fun. As with Christmas or Halloween, night is the time for all the magic to happen. After school, children go home with full of excitement, they just can’t wait to grab their colorful lantern, light it up and gather with their neighbors’ kids to walk around the village and play folk games. People believe that Chi Hang, Chu Cuoi – a sort of Vietnamese version of Santa Claus, will bring fun and happiness to children as well. Vietnamese children love these two imaginary characters as the way kids in the West love the lovely white man in that red costume. In addition, moon cake is something you must try!
Vietnamese adults when reflecting on their childhood often recall that they could not easily concentrate on their studies during the day of the festival. Instead of focusing on their subjects, they would rather chit chat, make awesome plans for the great night ahead. Some will show off their lanterns, others also bring along moon cake to class to share with their buddies. Teachers become less tough and more sympathetic to their students as they recognize the magnitude of the day for the children.
Happy Mid-Autumn festival to all the kids in Vietnam and those who used to be kids!
So Where in Vietnam can you see and feel the most amazing Mid Autumn Festival (Trung Thu)?
Mid-Autumn Festival in Hoi An:
Hoi An is and always will be my perfect answer and suggestion for you. If you are able to travel to one of the most beautiful old towns of Vietnam, then you will be very lucky. To enjoy the best of Hoi An right on the occasion of the Mid-Autumn celebration – it’s a rare opportunity. The colorful town lit up by hundreds of thousands of lanterns and floating paper lamps will absolutely amaze you. The stunning magical lights do a great job in wonderfully coloring the streets, houses and even the beautiful Thu Bon river running along the town edge.
Mid-Autumn Festival in Saigon:
1. Lương Nhữ Học Lantern Street
Located in district 5, the street has been the focal point for the festival. You will experience huge crowds and colors and surround is the colorful lantern stores on the both sides of the alley. Beautiful lanterns of all types and shapes are in every single store attracting customers and visitors. Everyone passing by the street just can’t help taking home a little lantern. If not, they will at least take some photos of this fascinating spectacle.
2. Suối Tiên, Đầm Sen themed parks
If you have children, these two cultural theme parks are definitely worth your consideration. These two places are not as big as international giants like Universal Studio or Disney Land. However, for years, they have been one of the most favorite destinations for local kids and their parents during special occasions like Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year), Summer Break or Mid-Autumn Festival.
Hope this article helps in planning your celebrations. Let us know what you did and how your celebrations were in the comments!
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