in Vietnam 2019

Mid-autumn festival? For Asian people, Mid-autumn is in August of the lunar calendar (Chinese calendar in general). On those days when there is a full-moon, children carry their colorful lanterns, in a myriad of beautiful shapes, such as a red carp fish, dragons, and yellow butterflies… It is a time for grandparents, parents, and the whole family to gather together drink nice tea & eat delicious moon cakes (so called because they are commonly eaten in full-moon time)

 

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When do we celebrate Mid-autumn festival ?

It falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month, so this year it is thirteenth of September (13.9.2019).
Asian people use the lunar calendar to know about full-days exactly, the right time to start our crops, become vegan for 9 or 15 days and go to temples and pagodas.

Mid-autumn festival
visit Thienhau temple in Cholon for Mid-autumn festival
This mid-autumn festival is also known as the Vietnamese Children’s Festival You will see parents taking their kids to choose the nice traditional lanterns such as red carp fish, yellow stars and also the modern ones such as Barbie dolls or Spiderman with speakers. The adults have a chance to go back to their childhood. You could buy lanterns to decorate for your house to remind you of the trip. Although for travelling I would recommend the folding one. Travelling throughout Vietnam on full moon days, you will see plenty of yellow shops selling moon cakes, one of the most popular dishes for this event. Most mooncakes consist of a thick, but delicate pastry enveloping a sweet, dense filling, and may contain one or more whole salted egg yolks in the center as the symbol of the full moon. Very rarely, mooncakes are also served steamed or fried.

Fairytales in Mid-autumn festival

There are two stories about full-moon which are told in mid-autumn festival: The first story comes from China about the love between Hằng Nga as a beautiful fairy & Nghệ as a hunter and excellent archer on earth. Hang Nga decided to get the elixir of immortality for her love. The king of heaven was angry that they were living in heaven as immortals and so he banished her to the moon to live as a rabbit in life imprisonment. If you look up at a full moon you should be able to see her rabbit shape clearly on the moon’s surface. In Vietnam, there is another story about a different couple. The woodman, known as Cuội and his wife have an immortal Banyan tree, whose magical healing properties can cure death. The tree must only be watered with pure water day and night, but by mistake, the wife uses dirty water on it. The magic then pulls up the tree and it begins to rise towards the skies, the woodman catches hold of the roots to try and bring it back down but he can do nothing more than hang on to it’s roots as the tree rises to the moon. The tree then plants itself on the moon and the woodman, unable to get home, sits and plays his flute beneath the tree. It is this story that inspired children to carry brightly coloured lanterns on full moon days. The lanters are to try and show Cuoi the way home back to earth.
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mid-autumn festival festivals along with Vietnam

If you travel to Halong Bay, this is the best time to see the beautiful full moon & activities on board a junk boat for mid-autumn festival Moving along the two banks of Hoai River in Hoian ancient town, there is not only a good view of the moon but also all the colorful lanterns are reflected in the river. And if you stay in Hochiminh city, don’t forget to go visit Cholon (China town). Whether you book a tour or arrange the trip by yourself, yu must go to Thiên Hậu temple – one of the oldest & beautiful places for tourists. In front of the temple, you will see Lương Nhữ Học – a whole street selling lanterns in all shapes and sizes, from unicorn’s to dragon’s heads. Treat yourself and buy one to join in the fun. But please take care. It gets very crowded & bustling at full moon festival and so please take good care of your belongings.
hanging lanterns during mid-autumn festival

Sagomeko recommendations on how to enjoy
the moon festival

When you book a city tour in Saigon don’t forget get to check China Town better known locally as Cholon is in your itinerary. There are plenty of companies who arrange tours for tourists around Cholon. I don’t want to sway you towards any particular business, unless you really would prefer a recommendation, in which case please email us for a reference
When you reach Lantern Street by Grab or Vinasun taxi (38272727 & a tablet shows you a map & the price – is a must) have a walk around China Town at noon. You could stop by at Thiên Hậu temple, a traditional Chinese style temple of the Chinese Seagodess Mazu, or visit the thriving traditional herbal market. Please ask people if you can take their photo. Most will not mind at all, but please, don’t stand in front of the stall too long as after all they are selling their goods.

 

lantern market during mid-autumn festival only
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If you found this article helpful or interesting, or hopefully both! Please do let us know or post a review on our website. Wishing you a happy, safe and enjoyable journey.

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