Not only Vietnam, many Asian countries also celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival according to the traditional custom. Although in each country, this special festival has its own identity but they all are exciting. On every street, lanterns, flowers and flags are decorated brightly and beautifully, ect.
I. The origin of Mid Autumn festival:
The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the fifteen day of the eighth lunar month annually. Up to now, it has not been defined clearly the Mid Autumn Festival originating from wet rice culture of Vietnam or absorbing from Chinese culture. There are three well-known legends telling about the Mid Autumn Festival which are the Phoebe (Hang Nga) and Hau Nghe, Duong Minh Hoang King goes up to the moon and the legend on the Moon Boy of Vietnam. According to the archaeologists, the image on the Mid Autumn Festival has been printed on Ngoc Lu bronze drum’s surface. Perhaps the Mid Autumn festival was originated from the wet rice culture of the delta of the South of China and the Red river delta of Vietnam. Many people say that this is a cultural feature imported from China during the time that Vietnam was dominated by the Northern Invaders. The writer Toan Anh in the book “Nep cu tin nguong Viet Nam Quyen Ha)” says that: According to the ancient books, the Mid Autumn festival originated from the Duong dynasty, Due Ton dynasty, title Van Minh.
II. Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam:
The mid autumn festival is a chance for people to enjoy the moonlight predict crops and fate of the nation. If the autumn moon has yellow color, there will be abundant crops of silk, if the autumn has blue color or green color, there will be disasters in that year, and if the autumn moon has fresh orange color, the country would be prosperous and peaceful etc.
Experiencing many upheaval of the history, mid autumn festival in Vietnam has many changes with the time but it still keeps the soul of it, it is the subjective feature and the innocent of children and the concern of people towards them.
Mid autumn holiday, an agricultural ritual in our country, a festival of children where they have a chance to fully develop there best personalities and play comfortably and harmonize with the beautiful nature and be fascinated in the love of people. That is a traditional festival, which deeply attaches to the mind of Vietnamese people, a beautiful cultural feature needed to be kept and conserved.
Perhaps, every Vietnamese person has a childhood and has eager minutes to welcome mid autumn festival even they only have Japanese persimmons and com but they would never forger those happy minutes. They are happy because they have a chance to make lantern parades and pick each seed of grapefruit to make a chain to dry it to create a lamp to light at the night of the full moon day of October and when they become adults and have their own family, they also prepare the festival for their children and see them welcome the festival and remember their time in the past.
In 2013, beside the meaning of organizing the mid autumn holiday according to the traditional custom for adults, children to have a chance to entertain and relax….the organization to welcome the Mid Autumn festival for children is an annual activity, which represents the attention of the Party, State, all levels, sectors, social organizations towards children. Therefore, in many localities nationwide, there have been many specific plans to organize the Mid Autumn festival 2013 successfully. Many exciting, meaningful activities are organized: The children will be participated in making mid autumn toys (starred lanterns, Mr. Doctor in paper or puppet…); make toys from leaves, soil, and powder;… Especially, there is a program on “the full moon festival night” with exciting contents, with the participation of Ms. The Phoebe and the moon boy, helps the children understand the legend related to the mid autumn festival.Particularly in Hanoi capital, the mid autumn festival is organized in many districts to serve people to welcome the festival. Recently, the MOCST has issued a Decision to appoint the Vietnam Arts and Culture Exhibition Center to cooperate with relevant organizations to organize the “mid autumn festival 2013” from September 14-19, 2013 at Vietnam Arts and Culture Exhibition Center. This will be a useful, meaningful, practical activity to present the concern of the party, state, sectors, and social organizations towards children.
III. Mid – Autumn festival in Thailand
Thai people calls Mid Autumn festival “the moon festival”, since at night of the mid autumn festival, all people, from the young to the old, boys or girls all participate in the ritual of worshipping the moon. Everyone will sit and spray and bless each other before an altar of the goddess of Mercy and the eight immortals of Taoism in the legend of China. On the altar, there are also peaches and mid autumn cakes. According to the legend of Thai people, if doing so, the eight immortals of Taoism will bring beaches to the moon to wish the goddess of Mercy longevity, and the fairies will bless everyone
VI. Mid – Autumn festival in Cambodia
On fifteenth, the first quarter of the moon (crescent moon – from 7th or 8th in lunar calendar of every month, the crescent moon can be seen), Cambodians organize “the traditional festival of prostrating the moon). In that early morning, people start preparing sacrifices to worship the moon, including fresh flowers, cassava soup, flat rice, and sugar cane juice.
At night, people put the sacrifices into a tray, place on a big mat, and sit at ease waiting for the moon. When the moon rises up over the top of a branch, everyone whole-heartedly worships the moon, implores blessings. After the ritual of worshipping the moon, the old take flat rice to put into the mouth of children until they are entirely full in order to spray for perfection, and good things.
As such, not only in Vietnam but also in other Asian countries in general, Mid Autumn Festival is a meaningful traditional customs. It is the meaning of great care, an occasion of showing gratitude to our parents, merit, friendship and love. Maintaining the Mid Autumn Festival means keeping the values of culture, traditional customs of each nation.
V. Mid-Autumn Festival in China:
hinese have long linked the ups and down of life to the changes of the moon. As the full moon is round and symbolize reunion, it is also known as the Festival of Reunion in China. All family members try to get together on this special day. Those who can not return home watch the bright moonlight and feel deep longing for their loved ones.
In China, Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the major holiday, with many festival activities and special public performances. After a reunion dinner, families will go together to scenic spots and parks for moon appreciation parties, eating mooncakes and pomeloes in the cool night air and praying for a safe year.
Different parts of China each has different ways to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. In some places people make fires inside a towers to celebrate the festival, because they think the fire is a symbol of good business. In the Zhejiang Province, watching the flood tide of the Qian-tang River during the Mid-Autumn Festival is not only a must for local peple, but also an attraction for those from other parts of the country.
VI. Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore
The Singapore Mid Autumn Festival celebrations are usually kicked off with an official ceremony complete with street parades, cultural performances and a grand fireworks display. Traditional lanterns are central to the celebrations and you can find the entire Chinatown basking under their wonderful glow.
The Mid autumn festival is celebrated under a full moon and there are many legends and traditions surrounding this festival. One of the most often heard story regarding the origin of the festival is that, it is held to commemorate the selfless act of Chang’e, the wife of a merciless ruler who drank the elixir of immortality to save the people from her husband.
VII. Mid-Autumn Festival in Malaysia
The festival is marked by lantern processions by children and adults alike. During this time, Malaysian Chinese exchange moon cakes with friends and family as an expression of their best wishes.
This festival has come to symbolise a quiet celebration of peace and shared prosperity. Take delight in the colourful lanterns displayed during this time while enjoying the variety of mooncakes available.
In the holiday island of Penang, beautifully decorated lanterns bring on an air of festivity. Lantern processions are a sight to behold.
VIII. Mid-Autumn Festival in Japan
The Mid-Autumn Festival is named Tsukimi (月見) or Otsukimi (literally means moon-viewing) in Japan. Celebrations of the festival take place on the 15th day of the eight month of the traditional Japanese Lunisor calendar (usually takes place in September of the solar calendar).
The Tsukimi custom or moon-viewing custom originated from the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. Custom of viewing the moon and holding festival parties appeared over 1000 years ago when tradition of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival was introduced to Japan.
Unlike the Chinese, who eat mooncakes to celebrate the festival, the Japanese usually eat eating rice dumplings called Tsukimi dango. The tradition is now so popular in Japan that some people repeat the activities for several evenings following the appearance of the full moon during the eighth lunisolar month.