Legend and Meaning of Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam

Nga Do
Vietnam’s Mid-Autumn Moon Festival (or Full moon Festival) takes place on the full moon night (15th of the Lunar August), the most charming and picturesque night of the year. The festival involves the customs of moon contemplating, procession of star & moon - shaped lanterns, lion dance, as well as holding parties with moon cakes and fruits. Do you know why we have this special festival?


The Festival dates back as far as 15-20,000 years ago in Southeast Asia, and is traditionally held on the 15th day of the 8th Lunar Month. Looking at the moon on this day, you will see that its orbit is at the lowest angle to the horizon, making the moon appear brighter and larger than at any other time of the year. Thus, accordingly, there came a festival with a series of entertainment activities in honor of the beautiful full moon.

There are several explanations for that phenomenon as well as the tradition of celebrating the Mid-autumn Festival. Some said that it began since the reign of King Duong Minh Hoang in China, at the beginning of the 8th century. According to ancient manuscripts, the Emperor often wished to visit the Palace on the Moon. Then, with the help of a magician, he was taken to the Moon and welcomed by a lot of beautiful fairies. He expressed his admiration for their dance, which was called Nghe Thuong Vu Y, and tried to memorize. Later, he accidentally found that there were similarities between Nghe Thuong Vu Y and Ba La Mon styles. After combining the two songs and dances styles into one, he gradually introduced it to everyone in their far ruling countries. The tradition of watching the moon, the dance and songs later became a traditional event in the Mid-Autumn celebration.


The Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival has many other special features than the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. According to Vietnamese custom, parents give their children to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, buy and do all kinds of lantern candles to hang in the house and let the kids play.

Mid-autumn parties include moon cakes, candies, sugarcane, grapefruit, and other fruits. This is an opportunity for children to understand the care of their parents in a specific way. Therefore, family love becomes even closer.

Also on this occasion people buy moon cakes, tea, wine to worship ancestors, present grandparents, parents, teachers, friends, relatives, and other benefactors. It is a good opportunity for the children to express their gratitude to their parents and to show their kindness to each other.

In addition to the meaning of a festival for children and adults, Moon Festival is also a chance for people to watch the moon predict the crops and national destiny. If the moon is yellow, the harvest is good, if the moon is blue or green, that year will be disaster, and if the moon is pure orange, the country will prosper, etc. Also, the poets also thanks to the moon that has composed many poems about the moon and autumn, if the moon is yellow, the moon will be green if the moon is blue or green, the moon will have a disaster and if the moon is bright orange, the country will prosper. Also thanks to the moon collection that has composed many poems about the autumn and autumn moon, so as to say!

Not only locals, but also foreign tourists are warmly welcomed you to join in this special festival. Surely, you will have much fun when taking part in the crowds, seeing children carrying the lanterns, eating cakes and receiving gifts of celebration during the Mid-Autumn Festival! 

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