A folk painting shows an artisan making paper masks, a traditional toy during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Photo courtesy of Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long
HÀ NỘI — The Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long will host a virtual exhibition featuring paintings, writings and video clips about the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival by cultural specialists from September 19.
Particularly, the content of the Mid-Autumn Festival Reunion exhibition will be bilingual, Vietnamese and English, so that both domestic and international audiences can enjoy the Mid-Autumn Festive atmosphere and learn the importance of the festival in Vietnamese culture.
It is based on documents such as paintings and writings of cultural specialists like French researcher Henri Oger and writers Nguyễn Tuân, Phan Kế Bính and Vũ Bằng.
The Mid-Autumn Festival has been an important festival of the country since the LýdDynasty (1009–1225).
During the festival, many activities were held like ancestor worship, boat racing and water puppet performances while the whole citadel was beautifully decorated with lights and flowers.
In traditional customs, the festival is not only dedicated to children but also an occasion for family reunions.
According to a representative of the Thăng Long-Hà Nội Heritage Conservation Centre, the exhibition will tell stories about the Mid-Autumn Festival via traditional fruit trays and toys that grandparents or parents usually present their children on the occasion
A traditional Mid-Autumn Festival tray will have a 'paper doctor' placed in the most solemn position that aims to convey the parents’ wish that their children will study well and succeed, in addition to mooncakes, fruit-shaped green bean cakes, colourful figurines and other typical products of Hà Nội’s autumn such as nuggets, persimmons, custard apples, bananas, grapefruits and chestnuts.
On the festival night, the whole family gathers around the tray. While the children join lantern processions and contests, observe kylin dances and play folk games, the adults contemplate the full moon, eat mooncakes and drink tea.
A girl is pictured with a traditional Mid-Autumn Festival tray. Photo kinhtedothi.vn
Viewers of Mid-Autumn Festival Reunion will also learn about the diversity of the festival toys in Hà Nội in the early 20th century via the archives of the Quai Branly Museum (France) and the French School of the Far East that are also exhibited.
Other highlights of the exhibition include video clips of Vietnamese historian Lê Văn Lan talking about various themes of traditional Mid-Autumn Festival and of artisan Quách Thị Bắc making cotton swans, a special toy of Hanoians on the occasion.
Mid-Autumn Festival Reunion can be viewed via hoangthanhthanglong.vn. VNS