The Mid-Autumn Festival, known as “Tet Trung Thu” is one of the biggest celebrations in Viet Nam.
Second only to the Tet/Lunar New Year celebrations, this festival is also based on the Lunar calendar, and has been significant to Vietnamese families for many years. Traditionally held on the 15th day of the 8th Lunar Month, in 2017, the Mid-Autumn Festival occurs on Wednesday October 4. Cities, towns and villages are decorated with bright and colourful light and lantern displays and decorations and people will be celebrating right throughout Viet Nam.
How did it start?
Originating thousands of years ago, the Mid-Autumn Festival is an opportunity for parents to spend time with their children, at the end of harvest season. The harvest was usually done by September (or August on the Lunar calendar). Parents wanted to do something special with their children, as well as celebrate the harvest, after working very hard and having too much time away from the family. The festival was held under the brightest full moon of the year, which represents fullness and prosperity of life.
What is it for?
The festival celebrates three fundamental concepts that are closely connected: gathering, thanksgiving and praying.
– Gathering, family and friends sharing time together, or harvesting and gathering crops before the festival.
– Thanksgiving, to give thanks for the annual harvest and for harmonious life.
– Praying, for good luck and a happy, successful future, or for children or marriage.
How is it celebrated today?
Children and families will parade on the streets, while singing and carrying colourful lanterns of many different sizes and shapes include fish, stars, butterflies, lions and dragons. Public celebrations in most areas will include dragon and lion dances, burning incense and families having fun outdoors in the moonlight.
Many students will have participated in making traditional lanterns, masks and mooncake before the day. Families and businesses share tea and mooncake with each other, and often give sets of mooncake as gifts.
The In Country Tours team wish everybody a safe and happy Mid-Autumn Festival.