It is said that originally, the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival came about as a way for parents to make up for lost time with their children after harvest season. The harvest was done by September, (August in the Lunar calendar) and the parents were anxious to spend time with their children and do something special with them, as well as celebrate the harvest, after spending much time working hard and away from the family. It was held under the full moon, which represents fullness and prosperity of life.
Tet Trung Thu is very much like a combination of our Halloween and Thanksgiving. Children parade on the streets, while singing and carrying colorful lanterns of different sizes. Some of the popular shapes include fishes, stars, butterflies and a lantern that spins when a candle is inserted, representing the earth circling the sun.
Dances are also traditional, and include the dragon dance and the flower dance.
It is customary to give Banh Trung Thu, boxes of moon cakes, which are traditionally very rich in taste. The cakes are filled with lotus seeds, ground beans and orange peels and have a bright yoke in the center to represent the moon.
*Quoted from here
*Image circa 2006 - first time around : )
I have been receiving this boxes of moon cakes for the past week and a half and let me tell you, they aren't delicious! They are the most dense bizarre tasting 'treats' out there, why can't their moon pies be made following a delicious brownie recipe? I'd LOVE to get free boxes of brownies!
Celebrating at school was spectacular.
We had performers come to the school, and all of the children received lanterns.
Here's a glimpse of it all, including a video:
Oh and I never thought my kids might be afraid of a giant red dragon and loud drums, but apparently a few of them were terrified. One even had nightmares...
Benny hid behind Ms. Cori
Van Anh locked himself in the bathroom.
Jackson and Bao Phuong hid in the shower, Jackson at least had a little bit of a sense of humor about it... Poor sweet Bao Phuong, you can actually see the terror in her eyes.