|Children enjoy making traditional toys, tò he (colourful figurines made from glutinous rice dough), during Mid-Autumn Festival. Photo courtesy of the Vietnam Exhibition Centre for Culture and Art|
HÀ NỘI — The Mid-Autumn Festival seems different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The atmosphere is less boisterous and fewer events are being held, but people can still enjoy various festive activities at major locations in Hà Nội.
Thăng Long Imperial Citadel
One of the more familiar addresses for children to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival is Thăng Long Imperial Citadel, where the Colourful Full Moon programme will be organised on September 26-27.
According to the organisers, the programme aims to offer children interesting activities to enjoy a meaningful and memorable Mid-Autumn Festival, but also appeal to adults with memories of their childhoods.
Colourful Full Moon includes a variety of activities such as watching and helping artisans to make traditional lanterns and toys like star lanterns, paper masks or tò he (colourful figurines made from glutinous rice dough); watching dragon dances and making moon cakes.
Renowned historian Lê Văn Lan will deliver a talk about the Mid-Autumn Festival during the Lê Trịnh dynasty (1558-1786) viewed from a cultural and historical perspective. According to him, the traditional games of the Mid-Autumn Festival in the present day have included many improvements, combining both traditional and modern elements to create new vitality.
Additionally, children and tourists can also release flower-shaped lanterns onto the river within the archaeological site on 18 Hoàng Diệu Street.
Another new feature of this year’s festival at Thăng Long Imperial Citadel will be a virtual celebration that can viewed at trungbayonline.hoangthanhthanglong.vn.
Mid-Autumn Festival in the Old Quarter 2020 will take place on the capital city's popular walking streets from September 17 to October 1.
The programme is being organised by Đồng Xuân Joint Stock Company in coordination with the UNESCO Centre for the Reservation and Development of Culture of Việt Nam. It aims to honour the tangible and intangible cultural values of Hà Nội as well as introduce and promote the cultural features of the children's festival celebrations in Hà Nội’s Old Quarter.
Besides cultural activities, folk games and traditional crafts, the highlight of the event will be an art performance on Saturday night, September 26 with the participation of 50 children.
Việt Nam Exhibition Centre for Culture and Art
A lantern parade with the participation of nearly 400 children from across Hà Nội will be held within the Mid-Autumn Festival at the Việt Nam Exhibition Centre for Culture and Art located at 2 Hoa Lư Street from September 28 to October 1.
Children will be entertained with various activities like lion dancing, calligraphy, making traditional Đông Hồ paintings and many exciting traditional games like tug-of-war or rồng rắn lên mây (snake and dragon flies through the clouds) with prizes on offer for the winners.
Việt Nnam Museum of Ethnology
An address that has truly offered an authentic atmosphere for the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival in Hà Nội over the years, the Việt Nam Museum of Ethnology will organise Trung thu 2020: Người giữ lửa Trung Thu (Mid-Autumn Festival 2020: the Keepers of the Mid-Autumn Festival) on September 26-27.
“With the theme ‘Tradition Keepers’, the programme aims to honour artisans who are passionate about their traditional professions and introduce young talents who have winged their creativity with traditional and recycled materials,” said An Thu Trà, deputy head of the Media Department at the museum.
To enhance interactions among visitors, adults will be encouraged to help the children with the activities to tighten the relationships among family members.
In addition, this year's lion dance will be the most spectacular ever. Visitors will be introduced to the meaning of the lion's image on the full moon, along with performing lion dances, beating drums and playing the cymbals themselves during the parade.
Other indispensable activities during the festival include making 'Full Moon' cakes and traditional toys with senior artisans, and taking part in traditional games that will help educate the younger generations about their national culture.
Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the children's festival in Việt Nam, takes place on the the 15th day of the 8th month on lunar calendar, which is also the brightest and full moon day of the year. This year the festival falls on October 1.
During the festival, the weather is usually cool, crops are waiting to be harvested and people gather to pay tribute to the deities, sing and play.
It has been considered the second most important festival of the year after the Lunar New Year since the Lý dynasty (1009–1225). VNS