Full moon festival is more and more familiar with everyone, especially children nowadays. This festival is also called the Moon Festival or the Children’s Festival. Furthermore, it is one of the most popular family holidays in Viet Nam held on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month annually.

         On this day, the moon is supposed to be at its fullest and brightest of the year. Generally, parents make use of this holiday as an opportunity to show their love and appreciation for their children. Perhaps, the children are always looking forward to welcoming this day because they will be received toys, lanterns, masks, moon cakes and candy by their parents or adults. Whenever we talk about this festival, I think no one can forget two main characters being uncle Cuoi and Miss Hang. They are the most important people who are more concerned about by the children. However, if someone suddenly asked you whether you believe in the existence of uncle Cuoi and Miss Hang or not in this festival, how would you respond? Maybe some of people say “yes” because they wonder that both uncle Cuoi and miss Hang created the meaning of this festival deeply. Moreover, they think that if two these characters did not appear in this day, it would not have Mid- Autumn festival. Nevertheless, some other people say “no” since they wonder both uncle Cuoi and miss Hang only appear in our imagination. On the other hand, they affirm that there are not concrete evidences to prove their existence. They can only exist in old stories but in our life. Therefore, it also has some arguments about this question. Actually, we have never seen their true face so far except to see them artificially in some shows for children today.

       In the past, the image of uncle Cuoi and Miss Hang are engraved on our memory strongly and deeply. Perhaps, when we were young, our parents used to tell us some old stories of the Mid- Autumn festival. Although uncle Cuoi and miss Hang appear at the same time on this day, they have different origins. First of all,  I want to mention about the origin of uncle Cuoi. According to the mythology of Chinese, once upon a time, there was a person named Ngo Cuong.  He lived in the heaven. Unfortunately, he was banished from the heaven for committing many sins, so he had to live on the moon. At there, his main work was cutting and peeling the bark of red cinnamon daily. Yet, this tree was as hard as steel, so he could not finish his work so far. Each time he cut the cinnamon, he realized that its wound was healed immediately. Hence, Chinese use the image of this cinnamon in order to explain for the life on the earth having birth and death. It means that the branches which were cut are death and some shoots which were always grown are birth. Therefore, whenever we look at the moon, we often see his appearance bending over backwards trying to work. Nevertheless, according to Vietnamese, they wonder that Ngo Cuong is uncle Cuoi and the red cinnamon is the banyan tree. This is the reason why curious children often wish to see the banyan tree on the moon when it is the brightest . Perhaps, they believe that there is a true banyan tree appearing on the moon in the mid- autumn festival. In fact, when the moon is the brightest in the autumn, we can see some hollow surfaces of the moon clearly. Surprisingly, these hollow surfaces combine with each other closely looking like a banyan tree, so whoever looks at the moon and misunderstands being the banyan tree.

         Secondly, I want to discuss the origin of miss Hang. Where does she come from? This is a question needing to make clear for everyone. According to some mythologies of Chinese, miss Hang Nga and her husband- Hau Nghe were two immortal gods living in the heaven. The king of heaven had ten boys. Unfortunately, They turned into the ten suns one day. This made the earth became burning and arid. Being unsuccessful in recommendation, The King of heaven ordered Hau Nghe to annihilate ten suns. However, he did not annihilate ten suns but letting one sun for the earth. Hence, Hang Nga and Hau Nghe were banished from the heaven for not obeying the King of heaven’s order. On the earth, Hau Nghe was so distressed because Hang Nga could not have a long life like before. Therefore, He decided to find elixir of life for her. Fortunately, He met the Queen of heaven and she gave him a tablet of elixir. However, after drinking, Hang Nga flew out of the earth because she drank too much. At that time, she flew to the moon and met a jade rabbit pounding elixir. Thence, she and this rabbit became a close friendship. Nowadays, whenever we look at the moon, we can realize this rabbit. The dark areas to the top of the full moon may be construed as the figure of a rabbit. The animal's ears point to the upper right, while at the left are two large circular areas, representing its head and body.

      These mythologies makes me remember an unforgettable memory happened to my childhood in the Mid- Autumn festival. I remember that when I was a little girl, my parents took me to Mid- Autumn festival in my village. It was celebrated on a big yard so that we could see lion dances as well as the moonlight clearly. Like other children, I worn a beautiful dress and held a star lantern made by my father to go there. I also enjoyed mooncakes and candy, especially I was enjoyed the play of uncle Cuoi and Miss Hang performed by brothers and sisters in my village . So far, it is still engraved in my mind like it is just happened yesterday. How an interesting play! After finishing all activities, I came back home with my parents. On the way to home, the moonlight was shining brightly and the insects were chirping merrily. I turned up my eyes and look at the moon hung high; my mind was still unclear in some questions about uncle Cuoi and Miss Hang. Hence, I stopped walking, pointed at the moon and asked my father.

      “Daddy, do uncle Cuoi and Miss Hang live on the moon?” I asked innocently

     “Look at the moon, my daughter! Do you see uncle Cuoi sitting on the root of the banyan tree?” my father responded fondly

       At that time, although I could only see a small black part of the moon, I still say “yes”. Sometimes, sitting alone to think about my childhood in the past, I often laugh myself. What an innocent child! However, now, by my knowledge, I can explain clearly the phenomenon of moon making me misunderstood in the past.

       In short, uncle Cuoi and miss Hang do not exist in our world but in our soul. To me, although they do not exist in our life physically, I believe that they still appear in our mind lively and deeply. Therefore, in this Full moon festival, we should prepare everything readily and carefully to welcome uncle Cuoi and miss Hang wholeheartedly. Full moon festival is coming. Hence, right now, prepare for yourself, maybe a new lantern to welcome this day happily. I wish all of you would have a happy and meaningful festival.

 

 


Kim Tuyet_11AV

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