Lanterns, Moon Cakes, and a Full Moon
Tết Trung Thu is here!
It is also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Children’s Festival, the Full Moon Festival, or the Harvest Moon Festival, and is held on the 15th day of the 8th month in the Lunar Calendar. On the 15th, the moon is believed to be at its fullest and brightest! This widely celebrated festivity can lasts up to a week in various parts of Asia! It is personally one of my favorite holidays.
Tet Trung Thu, literally translated to the “Mid-Autumn Festival” marks the end of the growing season. The focus differs from country to country. In Vietnam, it is commonly considered to be the “Children Festival,” with the emphasis on the little ones, of course. I have heard many different explanations for this. Since the parents/adults are so busy during the year tending to the fields/crops, the children are often neglected. This holiday marks the end of the harvest season and thus the parents have more time to be with their kids. Another explanation gravitates towards the holiday’s spiritual aspect. Families pray and thank the gods and the natural deities (rain gods, sun god, earth gods, etc.) for their blessings over the year. Children symbolize the innocence and purity, characteristics closely associated with nature and the spirits. This further explains why orphanages are a popular location during this time of the year.
Regardless, across the celebratory board, everyone gathers around their family to enjoy good food and great music. Moon cakes make their delicious reappearance. The fortunate will lend a hand to the less-fortunate. A really warm feeling all around.
This holiday involves many of my favorite things in life: family, friends, pretty lanterns, fire (. . .), fall, and moon cakes.
Happy Tết Trung Thu everyone!