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The origin and meaning of the Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival - According to the lunar calendar, August 15 is the middle of autumn, which is considered a "good" day to sacrifice to the moon god for the ancients to predict the harvest and also a fun New Year for children. CachHaynhat shares details about Mid-Autumn Festival.

Mid-Autumn Festival stage backdrop
Mid-Autumn Festival stage backdrop

Origin of Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival is the middle of autumn. Mid-Autumn Festival as the name suggests is the mid-autumn day, that is, on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar. The Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam is not known when it started. There is no historical record of the origin of the full moon festival in August. Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as Children's New Year, Children's New Year, Lunar New Year, and Flower Festival. post.

According to an old legend, the Mid-Autumn Festival began during the Tang Dynasty, the reign of King Due Ton, and the era of Van Minh. That year on the late night of the full moon of August, the wind was cool, the full moon was beautiful, while playing outside the city, the king met a fairy who came to the world in the form of an old man with a white head like snow. The magical fairy created a rainbow, one end bordering the moon, the other touching the ground, and the king climbed up the rainbow to go to the moon and roam in the Quang palace. Returning to earth, the king nostalgic for the romantic moon scene, the king set up the Mid-Autumn Festival.

This Tet holiday was later imported to Vietnam. During the Mid-Autumn Festival, people display a moon cake with moon cakes, hang lights and flowers, dance, sing, and dance very jubilantly. In many places, there are contests for women and girls to make cakes. Children have lantern parades and many places have lantern contests. Many families set up separate meals for children, and in the old trays, there is usually a paper doctor placed in the most beautiful place, surrounded by fruit cakes... Now on the occasion of the Mid-Autumn Festival, residential locations or shopping malls. All large organizations have their own decoration and activities for children, which is the place where many parents choose to bring their children to play and take pictures.

According to archaeologists, the Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam dates back to ancient times and was printed on Ngoc Lu bronze drums. According to the Doi pagoda epitaph in 1121, from the Ly dynasty, the Mid-Autumn Festival was officially held in Thang Long citadel with boat races, water puppet shows and lantern processions. During the Le - Trinh dynasties, the Mid-Autumn Festival was held extremely lavishly in the Lord's palace as described by "Mourning and Continuity".

Scholar P.Giran (in Magiet Religion, Paris, 1912) when researching the origin of the Mid-Autumn Festival, pointed out that since ancient times, in East Asia, people have valued the Moon and the Sun as a couple. They believe that the Moon reunites with the Sun only once a month (at the end of the moon phase). Then, from her husband's light, the contented moon girl came out and gradually received sunlight - becoming a new moon, a full moon, and then going into a new cycle. Therefore, the moon is negative, indicating female and conjugal life. And on the full moon day of August, the moon is the most beautiful, the most splendid, so the folk celebrate the festival to celebrate the new year. According to the book "Thai Binh Hoan Vu Ky", "Lac Viet people open festivals every autumn and August, boys and girls fall in love and get married if they like each other". Thus, autumn is the season of marriage.

Vietnam is an agricultural country, so on the occasion of August when the planting is finished, the weather calms down, it is the time when "everything is at ease" (Doi Pagoda stele 1121), people hold festivals to pray for the harvest, sing and enjoy the Chinese New Year. Collect

Mid-Autumn Festival stage backdrop
Mid-Autumn Festival stage backdrop

Meaning of Mid-Autumn Festival

For thousands of years, people have always believed that there is a connection between life and the moon. Full moon and waning moon, joy and sorrow, reunion, reunion or parting. Since then, the full moon has been a symbol of reunion and the Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as the reunion festival.

On this happy day, according to Vietnamese custom, all family members wish to gather together to make offerings to the ancestors.

When night falls, the ground is filled with golden moonlight, the villages gather together to drink green tea, eat cakes, watch the moon and display fruits and candies for children to play, procession of lights, lion dance, watch the moon, break the deck...

In addition to the meaning of fun for children and adults, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also an opportunity for people to watch the moon predict crops and national destiny. If the autumn moon is yellow, that year will be the silkworm season, if the autumn moon is green or blue, there will be natural disasters, and if the autumn moon is bright orange, the country will prosper.

Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam

According to Phan Ke Binh in the book of Vietnamese customs, "Our people in the 19th century, in the daytime, made offerings to their ancestors, and at night, presented a feast to enjoy the moon. At the beginning of the feast was moon cake and used a variety of fruit cakes, dyed colorful, red, blue, white and yellow. Girls in the street compete with each other ingenuity, peeling papaya into flowers, kneading dough to make shrimp, whale..."

Children's toys in the Mid-Autumn Festival are paper things such as butterflies, mantises, elephants, horses, unicorns, lions, dragons, deer, shrimp, fish,.... Children in the evening of the Mid-Autumn Festival , tug-of-war, catch the drilled lake, procession of lanterns, procession of lions, drums, and mules.

Also on this occasion, people buy moon cakes, tea and wine to worship their ancestors in the evening when the full moon has just risen. Also on this day, people often give grandparents, parents, teachers, friends, relatives and other benefactors Mooncakes, fruits, tea and wine. The Chinese often organize dragon dances on the occasion of the Mid-Autumn Festival, while the Vietnamese do lion dances or lion dances. The Lion symbolizes luck, prosperity and is a good omen for every family... In the past, Vietnamese people also held military drums singing and hung lanterns to pull troops during the Mid-Autumn Festival. The dance of military drums follows the triple beat of "thump, barrel, thum".

According to Vietnamese custom, on the occasion of the Mid-Autumn Festival, adults arrange meals for children to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, buy and make all kinds of candle-lit lanterns to hang in the house and let the children process the lights. The Mid-Autumn Festival includes moon cakes, sweets, sugar cane, grapefruit and other fruits.

Mid-Autumn Festival stage backdrop
Mid-Autumn Festival stage backdrop

Torch light

In some rural areas, where the neighborly relationship is still preserved and respected, people often organize children together to carry lanterns around villages, hamlets and neighborhoods on the Mid-Autumn Festival night. The lantern festival can be initiated by the local government or by youth groups in the village. They assigned each other to make big star lanterns or beautiful lanterns to compete with each other in the procession.

In Phan Thiet (Binh Thuan), a large-scale lantern procession was held with thousands of elementary and junior high school students marching through the streets, this festival was set as the largest record in Vietnam. This is a traditional mid-autumn lantern festival that has existed for hundreds of years, and the scale of the festival in Phan Thiet every year is bigger and bigger, but also more "commercial".

In Tuyen Quang, there is also a large lantern procession festival, which is fully mobilized from the creativity of the people, from village to village and has not been commercialized.

Lion dance

Lion dance (in the North often called lion dance) is usually held before the Mid-Autumn Festival, but the busiest is the two nights 15 and 16.

Presentation deck

The usual Mid-Autumn Festival tray with the focus on the dog is made of grapefruit cloves, with 2 black beans attached as eyes. Around there are more fruits and baked goods, mixed cakes or vegetarian cakes in the shape of a mother pig with a herd of chubby piglets, or a carp are popular images. Grapefruit seeds are often peeled and skewered on steel wires, dried for 2-3 weeks before the full moon, and on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, the ropes made of pomelo seeds are burned.

The typical fruits and foods of this occasion are bananas and nuggets, apricots, red and blue pickled persimmons, some na dai ... and grapefruit is an indispensable fruit. When the moon reaches the top of the head is the moment to break the feast, everyone will enjoy the taste of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The custom of looking at the moon is also related to the legend of Uncle Cuoi on the moon, because one day Cuoi was away, the precious banyan tree was uprooted and flew up into the sky, Uncle Cuoi clung to the tree roots but could not and was flown. to the moon with his tree. Looking up at the Moon, one can see a clear black spot in the shape of an old tree with people sitting under it, and children believe that it is a picture of Uncle Cuoi sitting at the base of a banyan tree.

Mid-Autumn Festival stage backdrop
Mid-Autumn Festival stage backdrop

Making Mid-Autumn Festival toys

Masks, monk lights, star lights and lion heads are the most popular toys during the Mid-Autumn Festival. In the South, the two cities of Hoi An and Saigon are famous throughout the country for their craft of making decorative lanterns and paper lanterns used in the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Previously in the North, during the subsidy period (1976 - 1986), toys for children during the Mid-Autumn Festival were very rare, most families often made their own toys such as drums, lanterns, etc. monks, star lights, towing lights, masks, to he, pinwheels... for children in the family. There are also toy ship models. The masks are usually made of paperboard or cardboard, with popular images of children's favorite characters at that time such as: lion head, Mr. Dia, Sun Wukong, Tru Bat Gioi, and Bach Cot Tinh. ..

Today, most toys in Vietnam come from China, the masks are made of thin plastic, not as beautiful as the masks of the past.

Types of moon cakes

From traditional to modern, mooncakes are increasingly diverse as manufacturers get creative in using different ingredients and foods into the filling; stamping cake designs into many vivid shapes; Packed with beautifully designed packaging. However, based on the recipe for making the cake crust, there are only two types of mooncakes: baked cakes and flexible cakes.


Cakes are made with a crust of flour and a little oil. Sugar to mix into the cake crust is usually cooked with malt to turn amber color and leave for as long as possible (usually after the Mid-Autumn Festival, bakers cook sugar water and store it carefully until the next season to use). In the past, in Vietnam, the filling of baked goods was usually mixed, with a little bit of lime leaves, fatty meat, jam, melon seeds, and sausages.

After molding the cake, pressing the mold, the cake is put in the oven. The baking process is divided into two stages of which about 2/3 of the baking time is the first stage. Then the cake is unloaded, cooled, covered with egg yolk and then baked for the remaining 1/3 of the time.

Soft cake

Traditionally, mooncakes are made with a shell of finely ground roasted glutinous rice flour, boiled and cooled white water (not using malt as baked goods), grapefruit perfume. The filling is made from cooked foods and ingredients. The cake is molded and molded and can be used immediately without needing to be in the oven.

Singing military drums

Tet in the North also has the custom of singing military drums. Both men and women sang and replied to each other, while beating a barbed wire or steel wire stretched on an empty barrel, making "banging" sounds as the rhythm for the song. Sentences of singing are singing along with the rhyme, according to ideas or singing quizzes, sometimes available, sometimes improvised. The confrontation in the drum singing sessions is very fun and sometimes difficult because of the difficult puzzles.

Gift giving custom

On Mid-Autumn Festival, people often give gifts to each other. Gifts are usually cake boxes, lanterns, clothes, money. Agencies and businesses also give gifts to customers and employees, sometimes buying mooncake trucks. Many companies have thousands of workers, order thousands of boxes of cakes with generous commissions.

Calculating the total amount of mooncakes consumed in 2006 (statistics from manufacturers) is estimated at 6,500-6,800 tons, taking the average price of a 220-250g box of cake about 100,000-130,000 VND, consumers have spent more than 800 billion VND for about 7 million boxes of cakes. And the boxes of cakes are as expensive as gold, the poor cannot afford them. keep running around from one to the other.

The object of gift giving by adults is usually superiors such as parents, superiors, people who need help, teachers or also neighbors, friends or children in the house. Usually, the more important the recipient of the gift, the higher the value of the gift must be. Mid-Autumn Festival gift giving is a common practice when life improves after Doi Moi, it can be a negative form when the value of the gift is too great.

For businesses or individuals, not having Tet gifts can be considered as negligent or belittled, so this is not a small expense when it comes to the mid-autumn festival. The cost of giving gifts is usually spent from the cost of receiving guests in cash. Due to the high commission or discount of bakeries (maybe up to 35%), many people prefer to use agency money to benefit.

Giving expensive mid-autumn gifts is an occasion of "gratitude" for adults. Many people often take advantage of this occasion to give gifts to buy and sell officials. The thick boxes of mooncakes with "gold" and "dollars" insides have blinded many officials, and giving gifts during the Mid-Autumn Festival is a custom of these ingredients.

Mid-Autumn Festival stage backdrop
Mid-Autumn Festival stage backdrop

Watching the moon

People often watch the moon on the night of the mid-autumn because this is the best time to see the moon

  • Want to eat rice in May, look at the full moon in August.

  • If you reveal the fourteenth moon, you will get silkworms, if you cut the moon on the full moon, you will get rice.

Poems about Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival has been a great source of inspiration for poets from the past to the present, including the poet of the Tang Dynasty Do Phu with the song Mid-Autumn Festival:

Capture the scene of gold pepper for sale

Heavenly High Moon Boi Minh

Nam Long Loy Yen enjoys

Ty Tru plays Thanh Thanh

Thai Giang's translation:

This autumn scene is half right

The autumn moon is brighter, the sky is higher

Who poured peach wine on the south floor?

The sound of silk, the sound of bamboo is ethereal and rhythmic

The poet Tan Da also mentioned the Mid-Autumn Festival with the following verses:

Being pregnant and having friends can't be bothered

So happy with the wind and clouds

Then every year the full moon of August

Looking down at the world smiling.

Nguyen Du

When the cup of wine and the game of chess,

When watching flowers bloom while waiting for the moon to rise

Song about Mid-Autumn Festival

Song The Starlight: (Musician: Pham Tuyen)

The bright five-pointed star lamp

This handle is very long, the handle is high above the head

I hold the light, I sing loudly

Colorful star lights of the full moon night of the festival...

Tung Dinh Dinh is Tung Dinh Dinh

Mid-Autumn Festival song: (Musician: Phung Nhu Thach)

The drums and the drums are bustling outside the house

There is a happy lion dancing around

Mid-Autumn Festival full of moonlit village streets

Under the golden moon, you sing loudly

August Light Procession: (Musician Duc Quynh (real name is Van Thanh)

Mid-Autumn Festival carries lights to go out

I carry the lights around the streets

Happy heart lamp in hand

Kids singing dancing in the moonlight

Star lamp with carp lamp

Swan lights with butterfly lights

I relay this light to the moon

Blue light with purple light

Blue light with white light

In the colorful light

Musician Le Thuong also wrote a song on this topic, Mr. Cuoi, in the song, there is a passage "The white shadow of the moon has a big banyan tree, there is an old Cuoi holding a dream.....There is a baby cricket, throughout the day. Late at night, Xam singing has no money, so it's poor ...".

Composer Ngoc Le also has a work on the Mid-Autumn Festival for children: "Cec tong cuckoo, I'm going to play this mid-autumn festival, jubilantly sounding unicorn drums...."

Mid-Autumn Festival stage backdrop
Mid-Autumn Festival stage backdrop

Mid-Autumn Festival abroad

In North Korea and South Korea, this day is Thanksgiving (Chuseok), the day when farmers give thanks to their ancestors for a bountiful harvest, and is the second largest New Year of the year and public holiday. country lasts 3 days. Koreans return to their hometowns and eat traditional dishes. Meanwhile in Japan every Mid-Autumn Festival, people gather to make their own traditional cakes, then they put trays of cakes on the side of the porch, near the window or anywhere to see the moon clearly. best. In particular, according to the concept of Japanese people, if children come to eat their own cakes, they will have a lot of luck in the year. Mid-Autumn Festival is an occasion when people from far away return home, celebrate together and make traditional dishes. They also prepare for themselves beautiful costumes to go to the festival.

In Taiwan, Mid-Autumn Festival is an official holiday for the whole country, and barbecues have become an occasion to strengthen the bond between family and colleagues in the company. By 2011, the city of Taipei designated 11 riverside parks to serve as barbecue places for the public. In Hong Kong and Macau, the day following the full moon of August is an official holiday, because there are many festive events held the night before. In recent years, environmental protection has become a public concern, many mooncake manufacturers in Hong Kong have adopted the reduction of packaging materials to limit waste. Mooncake makers also create new types of mooncakes, such as ice cream mooncakes and snow skin mooncakes.

Production of Mid-Autumn Festival toys

Speaking of Mid-Autumn Festival toys, it is necessary to mention the lanterns, which are indispensable for children to go to the moon procession. From the past to the present, the two cities of Hoi An and Saigon are famous throughout the country for the craft of making decorative lanterns and paper lanterns used in the Mid-Autumn Festival. According to Van Cong Ly, who lives in Hoi An, the ancestor of the lantern industry here is called Xa Duong. Unique Hoi An lanterns are rarely found in many places, Hoi An lanterns are beautiful thanks to all shapes, designs, large and small. The fabric covering the lamp instead of paper is the famous Ha Dong silk, making the light more shimmering.

In Saigon, from before 1975 to now, Phu Binh in District 11 of Do Thanh Saigon is still the largest center for producing mid-autumn lanterns in South Vietnam, supplying the whole region. This is a migrant village in 1954, originally from Bao Dap village in Nam Dinh province. This village in Beifen is famous for its dyeing industry. When coming to the south, people still live together by dyeing, weaving and making shoes. Phu Binh after 1975 is located in the area of ​​Phu Trung Ward, Tan Phu District and Ward 5, District 11, Ho Chi Minh City, about half a kilometer from Dam Sen tourist area. At first, when coming to the South, Phu Binh only specialized in producing simple Mid-Autumn Festival lights such as flute lights, fish, stars... intentionally for students to have fun on the holiday night.

From 1960-1975, Phu Binh annually produced more than half a million mid-autumn lanterns, supplying all provinces from Ben Hai to Ca Mau. After that, the people in the area continued to do their old jobs. In 1994, Chinese lanterns massively entered the Vietnamese market, suppressing Phu Binh lanterns, making people here suffer from starvation because their goods were stagnant because of the beautiful and novel Chinese lanterns. , it is very convenient to go out in the wind without fear of burning because of the battery, and the price is cheap.

In the Vietnamese market, the technology industry to produce toys for children on the occasion of the Mid-Autumn Festival helps create jobs and profits for many small and medium enterprises, due to common materials and simple technology, little capital, after a It took time for Chinese toys to dominate the market until 2006 the Vietnamese lantern industry recovered and re-occupied the domestic market.

Through this article, CachHayNhat has shared details about the origin and meaning of the Mid-Autumn Festival as well as information about the Mid-Autumn Festival. Thank you for reading the entire post today.

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