According to the customs of Vietnamese people for thousands of years, the Mid-Autumn Festival In Vietnam is celebrated in the middle of autumn, that is, the full moon day of August (lunar calendar). On this occasion, people make offerings to their ancestors and set traditional cakes and food in front of their house to worship the moon
Mid-Autumn Festival In Vietnam
On this occasion, adults often drink wine, enjoy the moonlight, and sing “Hat Trong Quan” ( a type of popular art – referred to alternate songs with drum accompaniments) ; Children parade lantern, watch a lion dance, sing Mid-Autumn Festival songs, and enjoy candy and fruit which are set by their parents in the courtyard in the form of a tray. Traditionally, children’s enjoyment of fruit candy on this Mid-Autumn Festival is called “Pha Co” ( Deal out (serve out) a mid-autumn festival cake and fruit. )
The origin of Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam
Vietnamese people celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival on the full moon day of the eighth lunar month following the customs of Chinese.
Once upon a time, the Emperor Duong Hoang (713-741 Tay) was strolling in Ngu Uyen gardens on lunar August fifteen night. That night, the moon was full and very bright, the sky was very beautiful, full of stars and the air was comfortable and cool. While The King was enjoying the beautiful scenery, he met a Taoist La who named Cong Vien ( also known as Diep Phap Thien ). The Taoist used magic to bring the king on the moon. On the moon, the scenery was even better what He imagined. The king deeply enjoyed the fairy scenery and immerse himself with melodious music, magical light and the beautiful fairies wearing all kinds of pretty and colorful dress while they were singing and dancing. In that wonderful moment, the king seemed to forget that The sky was brightening, Then The Taoist had to remind him, after that moment the king still regretted and wanted to come back the moon one more time.
The fairies on the Moon.
After Coming back to the royal palace, the king still remembered the moment when he had on the moon, so he wrote a song and named “Nghe Thuong Vu Y“, after that on the full moon night in August of every year, he ordered people all over the country have to organize The Lanterning Parade Festival and celebrate the full moon night while the king and Duong Gui Phi ( his queen) drinking wine under the moon and watching the dancers to celebrate his magical excursion on the moon. Since then, the organization of lanterns parade Festival and parties on the full moon day in August has become a custom of the people.
Emperor Duong Minh Hoang immediately ordered to build “Vong Nguyet Dai” ” ( a very high castle to enjoy the moonlight ). When the full moon night in August came. the king sat on the top of Vong Nguyet Dai, enjoyed the full moon, and imagined the day when had been dancing with many beautiful fairies. So, The King immediately set the Mid-Autumn Festival on the full moon in August. Since then, Mid-Autumn Festival has become the annual ceremony, when the moon is full, shining, the song “Khuc Nghe Thuong” would be sung in the Palace.
Vong Nguyet Dai
There are also many people think that the custom of lanterns parade Festival and set traditional cakes and food in front of their house on the full moon day of the eighth lunar month the birthday of King Duong Minh Hoang. Because the full moon day of August was the birthday of Emperor Duong Minh Hoang, So the King ordered the people around the country had to hang lanterns and organize parties to celebrate his birthday. Since then, The Lantern Festival parade on the full moon day of August has become a custom of people.
According to that, since then, when the full moon day of August comes, everywhere, every home, everyone, especially children will be prepared by adults, the adults will guide children how to celebrate and enjoy the full moon day, teach them Dancing, drumming, parading lanterns, about 12 zodiac animals , and play with lots of interesting toys. The adults do not only go to shopping, organizing, teaching the children, but also play and enjoy the moon with their the children , Deal out the mid-autumn festival feast under the moon to makes the feeling of love and gratefulness with nature, when the calm, cool, pleasant, comfortable, exciting autumn come to look forward the future of the people and country.
The Lanterning Parade Festival in Hanoi
About the celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam, in addition to the dances and songs of Duong dynasty, people also make “moon cake” which has the shape of the moon to eat when the full moon festival comes, That custom has been in Vietnam from distant past to present day, Because of that reason, on the Mid-Autumn Festival, everywhere in the Vietnam try to produce a variety of toys, make many kinds of moon cake with many colors and flavors to sell for people everywhere in order to serve Mid-Autumn Festival.
Read more about Vietnamese Culture and Tradition
Lanterning parade in The Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam is the custom and great fun for everyone, especially children. This custom comes from ancient China. During the Tong Dynasty (960-1269), There was a legend told in folklore, that was: ” there was a golden carp, cultivated and became a holy fish, it often changed into a person to tease young women. Seeing that, Bao Cong told everyone brought lanterns with the shapes of many kinds of animals such as carp, cattle, and fowls, hanging in front of the house in order to make the devil not dare to annoy and harm them anymore. Since then, when the full moon day of August comes, everyone often releases carps and hang lanterns in front of the house, and tell children to go out and lantern parade in order to make the holy fish scared.
Mid-Autumn Festival and customs during this occasion, imported from China into Vietnam since the Ly dynasty. But it was not until the August Revolution of Vietnam achieved success, and especially since 1947, when Uncle Ho sent Mid-Autumn Letters to children all over the country, the Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam really became the children’s festival for all children and celebrated. From then on, the lanterning parade on the full moon day night become a custom of Vietnam.
Both Chinese and Vietnamese make mooncakes to worship, eat, gift, and entertaining guests. The next common is that Both Chinese and Vietnamese organize the lanterning parade in The Mid-Autumn Festival night.
Meaning of Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam
The Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival has many special differences than the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. According to Vietnamese custom, parents will set traditional feast for children celebrate This day, buy and make all style of candle-lit lanterns to hang in the house and let their children parade lanterns around.
Mid-Autumn Festival feast includes moon cakes, candy, sugarcane, grapefruit, and other fruits. This is an opportunity for children to understand the loving care of their parents in a concrete way. Therefore, family love becomes closer.
Pha Co ( Feast ).
On this occasion, people also buy mooncake, tea and wine in order to worship ancestors and gift grandparents, parents, teachers, friends, relatives, and others. It is really a good opportunity for the children to express their gratitude to their parents and to show their love to each other.
The Chinese often organize Lion Dance during the Lunar New Year. Vietnamese people especially organize Lion dance during the Mid-autumn Festival. The lion represents a good omen. The Chinese do not have these customs.
Lion Dance of Mid-autumn Festival in Vietnam.
In the past, the Vietnamese also held ” Hat Trong Quan ” ( a type of popular art using drum) during the Mid-autumn Festival. The beats of the art often beat three times as “Thinh, Thung, Thinh”, In the old days, girls and boys used The beats of ” Hat Trong Quan” to sing on the full moon nights, especially on the full moon night in August. Boys and girls sang together for both fun and choosing their lover.
At first, Mid-autumn was a festival for adults to enjoy the beauty of nature, eat cake, and drink tea to enjoy the full moon in mid-Autumn. Gradually, the Mid-Autumn Festival becomes a Festival for Children, but adults also participate a little in it.
In short, Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam is a very meaningful custom. That is the meaning of caring, filial piety, gratitude, of friendship, reunion, and love. It is necessary to maintain and develop this noble meaning Festival.
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