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Vietnamese Mid Autumn Children Festival

(The Children's Museum of Houston in collaboration with VCSA)

Date: Saturday September 20th, 2003
Time: 10:00 am - 5:00pm
Place: The Children's Museum of Houston 
1500 Binz - Houston, Texas 77004

VIETNAMESE MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL

Vietnam's culture evolved for nearly five thousand years. Although its cultures were influenced by China, its northern neighbor, Vietnam's culture is unique and different from its giant neigbor's in many aspects. An example is the Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Children Festival which was explained by many folklores intended to teach particular morals and virtues.

The Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival or Tet Trung Thu (tet-troong-thoo) is a festival held on the 15th day of the 8th month on the Lunar Calendar. Like most parents, they work hard to prepare for the harvest; therefore, they let their children play on their own. The purpose of the festival is for the parents to make up lost time with their children. In many Vietnamese-American communities in the United States, the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Children's Festival, centers around children and education. Children are encouraged by their parents to light candle lit lanterns and to participate in a procession at dawn/dusk. The lanterns represent the brightness of the mind, and the procession represents success in school. Other children's activities include arts and crafts such as making masks and making/decorating lanterns.


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In addition, parents give their children mooncakes and other treats while telling them children fairy tales under the silver moon. One particular tale is “Ca Hoa Rong” which tells the story of a carp, a type of fish, that wanted to become a dragon. The carp worked and worked and eventually the carp turned into a dragon. The moral of the story is that you can become whatever you want if you work hard. Another familiar tale is “Chu Cuoi va Chi Hang”. Chu Cuoi flew to the moon one day while holding on to the root of a tree. The tree was uprooted by a strong wind. To this day, on the 15th day of the 8th month on the Lunar Calendar, you can see Chu Cuoi sitting at the foot of the tree if you closely examine the full moon.

This year, the Children’s Museum of Houston will collaborate with the Vietnamese Culture and Science Association and other community organizations to celebrate this unique tradition and provide the children an opportunity to learn about the beauty of Vietnamese culture.

 

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Last modified: September 06, 2003