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Monday, September 20, 2010

Mid Autumn Festival

In Vietnam, Têt-Trung-Thu (tet-troong-thoo) or the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most popular family holidays. It is held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month or shall we just say, this Wednesday!
Vietnamese families plan their activities around their children on this special day. In a Vietnamese folklore, parents were working so hard to prepare for the harvest that they left the children playing by themselves. To make up for lost time, parents would use the Mid-Autumn festival as an opportunity to show their love and appreciation for their children.
Appropriately, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also called the Children’s Festival. The kids have been busy making beautiful lanterns at school.  We have a concert on Wednesday morning and they are so excited.  The Ao Yai's are out and ironed.  They have been practicing all last week and can't wait to show us what they have done.  The shops are filled with astounding arrays of mooncakes. In Vietnam, mooncakes are known as bánh trung thu (literally "Mid-Autumn cake") and may contain a variety of fillings, such as savory roasted chicken, pork, shark fin, mung beans, coconut or durian.  The centre is traditionally an egg yolk symbolising the moon. They can be ridiculously expensive and I have seen a box of 4 for $100!!!
Like the Chinese, Vietnamese parents tell their children fairy tales and serve mooncakes and other special treats under the silvery moon. A favorite folklore is about a carp that wanted to become a dragon. The carp worked and worked and eventually transformed itself into a dragon. This is the story behind the mythical symbol, Cá hóa Rông. Parents use this story to encourage their children to work hard so that they can become whatever they want to be.
Will post some pics after the concert.

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