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Hanoi to light up for Mid-Autumn Festival

Released at: 08:05, 13/09/2018

Hanoi to light up for Mid-Autumn Festival

Children enjoy the Mid-Autumn Festival. Photo: Anninhthudo.vn

Mid-Autumn Festival 2018 to feature traditional cultural activities in the center of the capital.

by Le Diem

Celebrations for the Mid-Autumn Festival 2018 will take place over ten days from September 14 to 23 in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, according to the Old Quarter’s Management Board.

This year’s celebrations will again feature many cultural activities popular in the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival.

There will be a photo exhibition of previous Mid-Autumn Festivals in Hanoi at Heritage House, 87 Ma May Street, which was built in the late 20th century and is one of the few old houses in the capital still intact and retaining the typical architecture of ancient houses.

A few steps away, in front of Kim Ngan Temple, 42-44 Hang Bac Street, one of the area’s oldest temples, artisans will perform and guide visitors on how to make traditional toys associated with Mid-Autumn Festivals, such as star-shaped lanterns, paper effigies, paper kites, and “to he”, a traditional toy for children in Vietnam made from glutinous rice powder in the form of edible figurines such as animals and flowers or characters in folk stories.

The 400-year-old artform of Te Tieu Puppetry from My Duc district will also be introduced at the temple. Te Tieu Puppetry is well-known for the combination of puppetry and stories from Vietnam’s traditional folk operas and magic.

Other folk art will also be performed at the Hanoi Old Quarter Culture Exchange Center, 50 Dao Duy Tu Street, including the country’s most famous folk paintings - Dong Ho and Kim Hoang. The art of making paper masks, also popular at the festival, will be introduced at Dong Lac Temple, 38 Hang Dao Street, which is another popular destination for tourists exploring Hanoi’s cultural and historical values.

During the three last days of each week until September 23, including September 14-16 and 21-23 at the mural painting area of Phung Hung Street, traditional games will be played with musical performances, such as tug of war, blindman’s bluff, cat chasing mouse, stilt-walking, dances with bamboo poles, sack races, and some board games. There will also be stalls with traditional toys for the festival and explanations on how to make them. Phung Hung Street was revived with beautiful murals recalling Hanoi in the past, in a community art exchange project funded by the Korea Foundation, UN-Habitat, and the Hoan Kiem District People’s Committee. Vietnamese and Korean artists completed the murals and opened them to the public early this year. The murals depict memories of Hanoi and old features that still linger in Hanoians’ minds, like Hang Ma Street during the Mid-Autumn Festival, the old Trang Tien Department Store, a street corner in the Old Quarter with street vendors, and a schoolgirl on her way to school.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of Vietnam’s biggest festivals and also known as Children’s Festival because of its emphasis on children. It is held on the 15th day on the eighth lunar month (September 24 this year). The celebrations are also an opportunity for family members to visit each other, very much like a combination of Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Popular activities include eating mooncakes - sweet cakes made especially for festival from meat, eggs, dried fruit, and peanuts, etc. - colorful lantern parades on streets, children wearing funny masks and having fun with traditional toys, lion dances, traditional games, and folk songs when the moon is rising.

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