Mid-Autumn Festival, or Tet Trung Thu in Vietnamese, is a traditional festival celebrated by many Asian countries such as Vietnam, China, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines. On the fifteenth of the eighth lunar month, when crops have been harvested, and food is abundant, people celebrate the Moon Festival with many special things like moon cakes, fruits, lanterns, and the unicorn dance.

In modern times, parents are so busy at their work and do not have much time for their children. Therefore, Mid-Autumn festival is a good chance for parents to make up for lost time and show their love to their children. Mid-Autumn Festival has become special for children, and because of this, it is also called the Children’s Festival.

On the Mid-Autumn night, the moon is believed to be fullest and brightest of the entire year. The full moon also stands for family’s reunion. On this day, all members in the family get together, eat moon cake, light up lanterns, and watch the moon. Parents also tell their children many folktales about the legend of Mid-Autumn Festival. Children are eager to light up lanterns, parade along the streets, and sing children’s songs under the silver moonlight. In the countryside, children usually make the lanterns themselves with bamboo and color papers. The lanterns are in various shapes such as stars, fish, butterflies and carps, and children use candles to light up their lanterns. Different from the countryside, in the city, children usually buy plastic lanterns, which are illuminated by batteries and have jolly music. Although they are not traditional lanterns, they have a happy Children’s Festival with their family anyway.

There is a unique cake that people cannot miss in Mid-Autumn Festival called moon cake. Moon cake has many different shapes, but round and square ones are the most popular. The square-shaped moon cake represents the earth and the round one represents heaven. According to Yin and Yang theory, people love to eat these two in the festival to gain the harmony of Yin and Yang in nature. Lotus seeds, orange peel, sausages, ground beans, eggs, and pork are some basic ingredients of a moon cake. However, there is usually one yellow egg yolk inside a moon cake to symbolize the full moon. Moon cakes are special and meaningful gifts that people usually present in the festival to wish their relatives, friends, and colleagues a happy and prosperous life.

It is so wonderful to get together with family and friends on Mid-Autumn night, enjoy the beauty of the moon, taste moon cakes with green tea, and share stories of daily life. In the distance, children are singing the autumn’s songs and parading along streets. Their lanterns shed soft light that illuminates the street corners. It is a peaceful night that we cannot easily find in the crowed life nowadays. I wish that all of us, whoever and wherever you are, will have a warm Mid-Autumn night with your family, friends, and loved ones. Just celebrate it in the way you like and have a happy time, and you will find out the true meaning of Mid-Autumn festival!

Phạm Phan Minh Nguyên 9D

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