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Unique mid-autumn festival in Tuyen Quang

Sat, 20 Sep 2014 . Last updated Mon, 01 Jun 2015 14:07

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Mid-autumn festival is always a special occasion for each Vietnamese people, especially children. Particularly, mid-autumn celebration in Tuyen Quang is considered the most unique cerebration in Vietnam thanks to the gigantic lanterns.

I am Cameron, I am from Australia. People often call me Cam which means orange in Vietnamese. I used to work as an environmental engineer. But last year, I decided to change my career. I have more time to travel around and discover the life in Vietnam. I arrived in Tuyen Quang during middle autumn. From very first moments, I have been attracted by magnificent landscape and intriguing history. The name “the capital of Vietnam revolution” has been mentioned a lot when people tell me about this land.

Here we are in Tan Trao historical site, a really important and famous place in Tuyen Quang province. Behind me is really large banyan tree which is a great significance for President Ho Chi Minh and his colleges spent a lot of time here preparing for the August Revolution in 1945.  This is a “must-see” place that anyone wants to visit when coming to this region.

Located about 165 kilometers to the northwest of Hanoi, the city of Tuyen Quang is the center of Tuyen Quang province appearing similar to many other modern regional cities around Vietnam. Here the streets look much like those in Hanoi. For my first time in Tuyen Quang, I am really curious about the unique Mid-Autumn Festival here. This is only festival of gigantic lantern in Vietnam.

Today, I am going to Ward no.5, Tan Quang district of Tuyen Quang city. The place is known as the creativity of festival. According to a local man, they made come up with such an idea to give children a wonderful festival and something they can play with. It is motivation for making gigantic lanterns and displaying them on the street. They want to contribute something to the mid-autumn festival and bring happiness to children.

Moon cakes are indispensable part in the mid-autumn festival. There are many fairy tales about origin of this cake. However, there is one general thing that moon cake is the beautiful culture tradition which conveys the love among people here. Luckily, I have a chance to visit an oldest bakery in Tuyen Quang province. I will learn how to make moon cake, an indispensable part in the mid-autumn festival.  This tradition has existed hundred years ago. The family runs this bakery using a secret recipe that is handed down generation to generation to make hundreds of moon cakes for this festival.

There are some similarities between moon cake and traditional Christmas pudding from Australia and other parts in the world.  As I understand, the mid-autumn festival is fun, happy time for generations to show their love each other. It is Christmas time for many parts of the world. The bakery can make 1000 to 2000 moon cakes per day. This kind of cake is typical in autumn in Vietnam. People like the cake so much and consume them well this time. The filling included 10 different ingredients, such as pork, melon seeds, coconut, sesame and Chinese sausage and of course the secret of the bakery. The mold using to make of moon cake often has patterns of daisy and lotus, a simple of autumn in Vietnam.

 Tonight the children in community will have big party. I am really happy when witnessed activities in mid-autumn ceremony that are hard to see in the big cities. In the countryside area, people live quite closely; they spend lots of time together. I can feel the love of local people have for their children. They built the lantern to create exciting and magical experiences for young children in their community. Particularly, in Vietnamese people belief the mid-autumn festival is for the children.

In 2007, the first time mid-autumn celebration in Tuyen Quang received a lot of attention from the public of the city. The gigantic lanterns made by the people of Ward 5, Tan Quang district are considered as the seed for the amazing festival we have today. The lantern became a unique culture trade of Tuyen Quang. It is only found here and recognized in Vietnam Guinness Book. After 7 years, started as private activity, it is now celebrated as the festival in the entire province of Tuyen Quang. The ideal for making gigantic lantern mostly comes from popular Vietnamese fairy tales. It appeals most children and aware them to understand the story meaning behind the gigantic lantern.


Source: VTV4 –

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