Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival 2013

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The Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most popular holidays for Vietnamese and Asian families. It’s also called the Children’s Festival, the Lantern Festival, or the Moon cake Festival and the Vietnamese community with a celebration of Tet Trung Thu.

It’s is held on the 15th day of the 8th month in the Lunar calendar. In 2013, that’s September 19.

There are many different legends connected with this festival. The first describes the legend of Cuoi, whose wife accidentally urinated on a sacred banyan tree. The tree began to float towards the moon, and Cuoi, trying to pull it back down to earth, floated to the moon with it, leaving him stranded there.

Every year, during The Mid-Autumn Festival, children light lanterns and participate in a procession to show Cuoi the way back to Earth. The other tale involves a carp who wanted to become a dragon, and as a result, worked year in and year out until he was able to transform himself into a dragon.

Tet Trung Thu is very much like a combination of our Halloween and Thanksgiving. Children parade on the streets, while singing and carrying colorful lanterns of different sizes. Some of the popular shapes include fishes, stars, butterflies and a lantern that spins when a candle is inserted, representing the earth circling the sun.

Dances are also traditional, and include the dragon dance and the flower dance.

It is customary to give Banh Trung Thu, boxes of moon cakes, which are traditionally very rich in taste. The cakes are filled with lotus seeds, ground beans and orange peels and have a bright yoke in the center to represent the moon.

To help children get ready for the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, parents can help children make their lanterns and costumes for the lantern procession and discuss the history and culture of Vietnam. Showing our love for our children and teaching of Vietnam's love for their children is a wonderful reason to celebrate.

Come and enjoy the Mid-Autumn Festival to experience a full Vietnam. You may smile and think “Those were the days’ and your childhood comes back to you sweetly.

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