Tet Trung Thu, or the Mid Autumn Moon Festival falls on September 25th this year. Every year it is held on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month. As the festival’s intent is to honor the moon, it occurs during the part of the year that the moon is at its brightest.
There is a great deal of attention bestowed on children during the Mid Autum Moon Festival; it’s sometimes even called the Childrens’ Festival. It is a time to spend quality time together as a family and encourage and embrace creativity with your children. I thought it would be fun to share some ideas about how you can incorporate this day into your family’s traditions.
All of the suggestions below are intended to be done by parents (or other family members and friends) together with their children.
Make mooncakes (banh tet trung thu) – look for my post about mooncakes tomorrow!
Create moon or dragon shaped masks out of paper or papier-mache
Create lanterns – this site has a few great pictures of children making paper lanterns for the Mid Autumn Moon Festival
Create a moon-themed buffet with round shaped foods – brainstorm with your children about what foods are moon shaped, then take them on a shopping trip to pick out the foods for your celebration. Although this festival is when the moon is full, crescent moon shaped foods could be incorporated if they so choose.
We plan to celebrate in a relaxed way with the focus being on our family. I think it will be fun to plan a menu of round foods – and I hope to try my hand at some very basic mooncakes (more on that tomorrow.) Hopefully we’ll have good weather and can snack on them under the light of the moon. I’ll be writing more about the Mid Autumn Moon Festival as we approach the 25th.
Here are the lyrics of a traditional Vietnamese folksong about Tet Trung Thu translated into English:
At Mid-autumn festival,
walk around with lanterns lit.
Take them all across the town,
singing to the autumn moon.
Lanterns all in different shapes, lantern angel, lantern dream,
Lantern fish, or lantern star, lantern swan or butterfly.
Take my lantern to the sky;
take my lantern to the moon!
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