Thursday, September 22, 2016

Moon Festival in Vietnam

Hello everyone! 

I wonder if anyone knows that Moon Festival (Mid-Autumn Festival) was on last week珞. For people who don’t know what this festival is about, “The Mid-Autumn festival is named "Tết Trung Thu" in Vietnamese. It is also known as Children's Festival because of the event's emphasis on children. In olden times, the Vietnamese believed that children, being innocent and pure, had the closest connection to the sacred and natural world. Being close to children was seen as a way to connect with animist spirits and deities.” (Wikipedia)

In Vietnam, children participate in parades in the dark under the full moon with lanterns of various forms, shapes, and colors. What I found most interesting about this festival is that it has a special folk tale to go with. It is about the legend of Cuội, whose wife accidentally urinated on a sacred banyan tree.
The tree began to float towards the moon, and Cuội, trying to pull it back down to earth, floated to the moon with it, leaving him stranded there. And that’s why every year, during the Mid-Autumn Festival, children light lanterns and participate in a procession to show Cuội the way back to Earth.

Making and sharing mooncakes is one of the hallmark traditions of this festival. Mooncake has a round shape that symbolizes completeness and reunion. Thus, the sharing and eating of round mooncakes among family members during the week of the festival signify the completeness and unity of families.

Food offerings made to deities are placed on an altar set up in the courtyard, including apples, pears, peaches, grapes, pomegranates, melons, oranges, and pomelos. In Vietnam, cakes and fruits are not only consumed, but elaborately prepared as food displays. For example, glutinous rice flour and rice paste are molded into familiar animals. Villagers of Xuân La, just south of Hanoi, produce tò he, figurines made from rice paste and colored with natural food dyes.

Me with roomie and our friends, Camille

I miss the holiday so much since it’s been 3 years I’m not in Vietnam to celebrate it. But spending time last week with friends and eating mooncakes were such a precious moment here in the US and at PLU. Next year, Moon Festival will be on October 4 so put it on calendar and celebrate with your families and friends! 

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