Like most of Asia, the residents in Vietnam will use any excuse to party. The Vietnamese calendar is peppered with special days, some national and others local, when the people dress in their best and take to the streets.
Many national festivals are religious in origin and therefore are celebrated mostly in temples, while others such as paying respect to ancestors take place at home. Mid Autumn Festival is bound to be a colorful event with unexpected activities it is often referred to as Children’s Day. This day is for giving presents, especially of banh trung thu cakes made of sticky rice and filled with lotus seeds, dried fruit, nuts and eggs. Têt-Trung-Thu or the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most popular family holidays.
In Vietnamese folklore, parents were working so hard to prepare for the harvest that they left the children playing by themselves. To make up for lost time, parents would use the Mid-Autumn festival as an opportunity to show their love and appreciation for their children.
Parents buy lanterns for their children so that they can participate in a candlelit lantern procession at dawn. Lanterns represent brightness while the procession symbolizes success in school. There is a variety of lanterns and face masks.
Vietnamese parents tell their children fairy tales and serve moon cakes and other special treats under the silvery moon. A favorite folklore is about a carp that wanted to become a dragon. Parents use this story to encourage their children to work hard so that they can become whatever they want to be.
This festival is an opportunity for many young Vietnamese to take out their best clothes and take photos around town especially in the Old Quarter. A time for lovers as well.