The online display entitled “Mid-Autumn Festival Reunion” will be held by Thang Long – Hanoi Heritage Conservation Centre on September 19 at the website of Thang Long Imperial Citadel of hoangthanhthanglong.vn and trungbayonline.hoangthanhthanglong.vn.
|The display themed Mid-Autumn Festival will be showcashed online on September 19. Photo: Minh An
The display features a banquet of traditional Mid-Autumn Festival; the newly restored toys of old Hanoians; and a series of clips themed Mid-Autumn presented by renowned local historian Le Van Lan.
On the tray, there will be a paper effigy of a Confucian scholar placed in the center, expressing Vietnamese people’s wish for their children’s academic success. Alongside with the paper scholar, many eye-catching cakes made from rice powder, mooncakes and seasonal fruits and Hanoi’S specialties will also be on display.
This “traditional Mid-Autumn Festival of Hanoians in the early 20th” banquet is reenacted based on images, documents and articles collected by French culturalist Henri-Joseph Oger, and Vietnamese writers Nguyen Tuan, Phan Ke Binh, and Vu Bang.
In addition, the online exhibition also features toys that have been restored by talented artisans from Hanoi’s Old Quarter and some craft villages on the outskirts of Hanoi.
|The sumptuous banquet for traditional Mid-Autumn Festival. Photo: Minh An
According to old documents of the Quai Branly Museum (France) and the French School of the Far East (École française d’Extrême-Orient) in Hanoi, the Mid-Autumn Festival toys of Hanoians in the early 20th century were very diverse in types. They were made from a variety of materials such as papier-mâché, clay, rice flour, wood, ironware, cotton wool and cellophane.
Through some clips, the famous historian Le Van Lan will introduce the origin of the Mid-Autumn Festival and the traditional customs of the Vietnamese on this important occasion. Some interesting clips are “The Custom of the Lantern Procession”, “The Custom of Enjoying the Full Moon of Hanoians” and “The Story of La Vong Fisherman”, among others.
The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on September 21 this year. It owes its origin to an old tale about a man named Cuoi who hung on to a magical banyan tree as it floated up to the moon. People say that if you look closely at the full moon, you can see the shadow of a man sitting under a tree. Children parade lanterns in the streets on the night of Mid-autumn Festival to help light the way to earth for Cuoi from the moon.
Every Vietnamese child dreams about an amazing Mid-Autumn Festival with his or her own brightly lit lantern and a belly full of mooncakes. Photo: Minh An
According to historian Le Van Lan, in the old time, the traditional Mid-Autumn, especially in many rural areas, was attached to the image of children eagerly waiting for toys that their parents bought home from the village’s market or made by themselves from natural material.
Other families made mid-autumn cakes. In the eve of the full-moon, children enjoyed watching the moon, savoring the food and playing with toys.
“Nowadays, opening up traditional Mid-Autumn spaces at cultural sites and encouraging the reintroduction of traditional food and toys are a meaningful way to celebrate the festival and keep the tradition,” he said.
The organizer from Thang Long – Hanoi Heritage Conservation Centre said that the online display themed Mid-Autumn Festival this year is to express the core values of the traditional full moon night while meeting the creativity and enjoyment needs of children.