Children are the purest gifts that the nature mother has given to us. To value children, people around the world celebrate many holidays for kids. The first of June is the International Children’s Day. However, some countries have their own Children’s Day. For instance, the first day of October in Singapore is the National Children’s Day. Or in Japan, Tango no Sekku ,which occurs on the fifth day of May is their Children’s Day. In my country – Vietnam, the fifteenth day of August in lunar calendar is the Children’s Day, also called Mid-Autumn Festival, is the second important occasion in Vietnam. Mid-Autumn Festival is the time for parents to play with and catch up their kids. Parents often tell many stories to their kids on this holiday. The most popular story is about “ the moon man and his banian tree”. The banian tree had a magical power that healed people’s injures. One day, his wife watered the tree by dirty water that made it fly away from the Earth. Although he tried to pull it back, it was useless. The man and his tree flew up to the moon. From then on, every Mid-Autumn Festival, Vietnamese kids use beautiful lanterns to light up the road for “the moon man” to come back to the Earth.
Four things that are essential preparation for the occasion are fruits, moon cakes, lanterns, and lion dances. In Mid-Autumn Festival, people buy seasonal fruits such as grape fruits, logan fruits, bananas, apples. Parents usually create funny things by those kinds of fruit. For example, they use grapes to make beautiful dogs. Vietnamese moon cakes are influenced by Chinese moon cakes. However, moon cakes nowadays is an important part of Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival. People believe that moon cakes symbolize for the peaceful, beautiful sight of the moon. Some people say that “No moon cakes, no festival”. Long time ago, people used to make them by hand. Nowadays, most moon cakes are made by the workers in the factories. The next important thing is lanterns because every kid has to have a lantern for his or her day. Nowadays, there are many kinds of lanterns for kids: electronic lanterns, paper lanterns, plastic lanterns… Last but not least is lion dances. Lion dances symbolize for happiness, luck, health, and wealth, so there are many lion dances competitions. At about 6~7 o’clock, mothers make offerings for praying good things for family members. Then, family members gather to enjoy moon cake, look at the most beautiful moon of the year, and chat to each other.
Mid-Autumn Festival always occurs at the beginning of the first semester of school, so children can receive many lucky wishes from family members for a coming study year. On those days, lion-dancing teams include professional and unprofessional teams (unprofessional teams are teams that have 8~9 kids, not adults). They will stand in front of the house and ask the house owner for dancing in the yard. If the host agrees, their team will perform in front of your eyes. After the performances, the team will receive the lucky money from the house owner. The pay is not much, but it means the thank of the house owner to say to the team. Mid-Autumn Festival is not only the meaningful occasion for kids, but also for family. Thus, it is important to every Vietnamese person to prepare. To me, there is only one word to describe the festival clearly that is “Great!”. It is hard for me to tell you all about Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam. You have to discover by yourself to see the whole picture of this meaningful occasion.
Courtney from Study Moose
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