Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Colourful lanterns will light up Thăng Long Imperial Citadel and the gates will open for the public to celebrate mid-autumn festival, beginning now and running until October 4 - the full moon day of the eighth lunar month.
The festival, organised for children by the Thăng Long-Hà Nội Heritage Conservation Centre, offers a variety of activities. In particular, an education programme will help children better understand mid-autumn festivals of the early 20th century through documented works of the French researcher Henri Oger and photographer Albert Kahn.
Children will also have a chance to talk directly to historical and cultural researchers and artisans as well as experience traditional games and craft-making processes.
The space is filled with stalls displaying traditional toys associated with mid-autumn festivals.
Participating artisans include well-known makers of moon cakes, masks, lanterns, pottery, and tò he (glutinous rice figurines). The skilled craftpersons are coming from across Hà Nội as well as Bắc Ninh Province.
“Toys and lanterns are an integral part of the mid-autumn festival parade. To the sounds of the drumbeat, children hold colourful lanterns and march on roads, and that’s the most interesting part of the mid-autumn festival celebration,” said Vũ Văn Sinh, a lantern-making artisan from Thanh Oai District, Hà Nội.
“There are various kinds of lanterns, star or rabbit shaped. Most of them are not easy to make. We’re happy to be here to instruct the children to make lanterns for themselves.”
Traditional games will be played, such as carrying rice across a bamboo bridge, see-saw, boomerang, wooden horse, jumping-in-sack race, tug of war, stick-and-ball, clay crackers, board games and blindfolded drummer.
Organising the mid-autumn festival is part of a series of activities at the Thăng Long-Hà Nội Heritage Conservation Centre designed to promote the intangible cultural heritage of the country, said Trần Việt Anh, director of the centre.
“We want to bring children attractive activities to celebrate the festival and through it, we expect them to uphold the traditions of the nation,” Anh said.
The festival is open everyday at Thăng Long Imperial Citadel, 19 Hoàng Diệu Street, Ba Đình District, Hà Nội.
Festive Old Quarter
Streets in Hà Nội’s Old Quarter are full of colours as the mid-autumn festival approaches.
Running through October 4, the festival features a wide range of activities across Hàng Mã Street, around the Đồng Xuân Market area, and along the pedestrian streets of Hàng Đào, Đồng Xuân and Hàng Giầy, as well as cultural venues in the Old Quarter.
Cultural events are also scheduled in the Ancient House at 87 Mã Mây Street with an exhibition of traditional mid-autumn festival celebration; Kim Ngân Temple at 42-44 Hàng Bạc Street with toy-making programmes; and the Hà Nội Old Quarter Cultural Exchange Centre at 50 Đào Duy Từ Street, where researcher Trịnh Bách and artisans instruct children to make toy figurines and lanterns.
Children are invited to try their hands at making moon cakes, participate in lion dances, a lantern parade and compete in various folk games.
This year artist Trang Thanh Hiền and her group Cùng Bé Sáng Tạo (Joining Children in Getting Creative) continues the project of “making masks, enjoying the mid-autumn festival”.
They have instructed children in making traditional Vietnamese paper masks as a way to preserve and promote the cultural value of paper masks.
This event will take place at the Hà Nội Garden City urban area, Long Biên District on October 1. — VNS