My Mid-Autumn Festival

In the past, Mr. Huu Thinh recognized autumn through the scent of guava in the monsoon, but today, amidst the hustle and bustle of people's lives, I recognize the mid-autumn festival by moon cake stalls on Cau Dat Street, lanterns on Quang Trung Street or Do market and hawkers’ baskets of ripe red persimmons on each street. The older I get, the more I remember the memories of the old mid-autumn festivals, the most beautiful time of my childhood...

A corner selling mid-autumn goods at Do market (Photo: Duy Khanh)

Children’s toy (To He) is also a childhood gift that many people still love until this day (Source: Internet)

During the Mid-Autumn Festival of those days, I was transported by my parents to see the district streets, holding a carp-shaped lantern in my hand, my eyes were sparkling with red and blue colors reflected through the cellophane which people make lanterns, and I felt strangely happy...

Familiar beautiful images of the old mid-autumn festival of the 8x and 9x generations (Source: Internet)

The old Mid-Autumn Festivals of those days were the image of my grandmother flapping gently an areca-spate fan, sitting on a stool under an old guava tree to take copra, and peel off the rough black skin for the whole family celebration; is the image of my father catching ducks with quacking sounds in the whole neighborhood; is the image of my mother running in and out of the small kitchen to boil a pot of boiling water with swirling smoke; is the image of the neighbors laughing and asking each other what to eat tonight; is the image of the sunset mixed with the smell of smoke, the smell of new sticky rice, the voice of street vendors as anyone buy rice cakes... Those were extremely simple and warm images.

The images of banyan trees, communal house courtyards, and lanterns made of steel milk tubes reminded me of the extremely simple and warm mid-autumn festivals of childhood. (Source: Internet)

I still remember the Mid-Autumn Festival of many previous years. The Mid-Autumn Festivals of those years were very simple, there was no big and full feast as nowadays. After returning from school, the children called each other to the village yard to receive Mid-Autumn Festival gifts; having only some biscuits and peanut candies, but it was all expectation and excitement, which we could not find those feelings later.

Moon cake, an indispensable gift on the full moon day of August (Source: Echeep chicken)

The Mid-Autumn Festival is the dark night of power outage, in the evening, the adults and children in my village spread mats on the "main street" near the river. On the big, airy, and cool street, they sat down to chat with each other, and also arranged a few gifts from their garden: Grapefruit, persimmon, copra, rice pancake - the legendary dish of my hometown, the adults drink tea, the children run around when the drum sounds "Tung! Tung!” resounded from the far end of the alley, my heart was pounding, and I was running in and out, looking around. Holding the star lantern which whenever I hold up high, the wind blows out the candle, I crept into the crowd and followed the lion dance team, and dragon dance team going around the village, the children holding lanterns went around the village and sang “the Mid-Autumn Festival carrying lanterns to play...”. That was my Mid-Autumn Festival, lacking materials but full of laughter. The Mid-Autumn Festival is also the lanterns ticking with cousins, the paper mask and the drum clattering, noisy but funny, the little toy-making very loud noise. The sounds of drums and laughter were to show an overflowing full moon.

I remember those years, when my brothers and sisters peeled grapefruit seeds with their fingertips, strung them together with a needle, and dried them in the sunlight at noon to be burned in the evening instead of firecrackers. The exploding sound of grapefruit seeds, the gentle aroma of grapefruit, the faint scent of Milk flowers, and the crisp laughter painted the wonderful autumn sky throughout my childhood - the memorable moments that I know will never come back again...

The little children were very excited to touch the colorful and playful Unicorn. (Source: Le Minh)

Depending on family conditions and preferences, now mid-autumn feasts are more attractive, eye-catching, and luxurious. (Source: Internet)

Another mid-autumn season is coming, the now mid-autumn festival is much more bustling, colorful, and beautiful than ones before. Nowadays, people display feasts with all kinds of delicious cakes and elaborately decorated fruits; hang lanterns and flowers; dance, sing together, and play lion dance jubilantly. At residential locations or big commercial centers with decorations and activities for children, many parents choose to bring their children to have fun and take pictures. Currently, when the families have better conditions, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also organized larger, gifts for children are also more diverse, and programs are professionally organized, this is also a new point for children to have a new and more attractive Mid-Autumn Festival.

Sticky rice cakes, pies, Xu Xe (a kind of rice cake), green rice flakes, and sugar-coated lotus seeds are indispensable gifts in the mid-autumn festival feast. (Source: Internet)

How many mid-autumn seasons of my childhood have passed and now I have my own small family with growing children, I wonder whether they dream like me when I was a kid. I realized that no matter how busy or difficult it is, my children's childhood is a one-way trip. In exchange for a few working hours to be with my children, my husband and I often take our children on the inherited cup of my grandfather to go around the streets, buy lanterns, and moon cakes on Cau Dat Street; buy more fragrant flowers, gold apple, some green rice flakes to offer to the ancestor altar, decorate the small mid-autumn festival feasts, let our children have a part of our childhood atmosphere, a peaceful and warm childhood.

The full and colorful Mid-Autumn Festival feast (Source: Internet)

The Mid-Autumn Festival is an event of sacred and cultural significance. Over time, people celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in different ways, but the meaning of having a family reunion and taking care of children remains the same value for the respect and conservation of each family./.