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Feature: Vietnam's Mid-Autumn Festival: a special time for children

Xinhua, September 27, 2015 Adjust font size:

Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam is celebrated as a festival especially for children. As time passes by along with the improvement in the economic condition, Mid- Autumn Festival nowadays is organized with more activities and modern tastes.

"Mid-Autumn Festival now is celebrated more emphatically than in the past when I was small," Nguyen Thi Te, an 83-year-old woman told Xinhua in Vietnam's capital Hanoi, one day ahead of the Mid- Autumn Festival which falls on Sept. 27 this year.

"Toys for children during Mid-Autumn Festival in the past were much simpler; including paper doctors and paintings," Te said, adding that parents often bought paper doctors for children during the Mid-Autumn Festival with the hope that they might be successful in their studies.

One of the must-have toys during the festival in Vietnam is a five-pointed star shaped lantern.

"The five-pointed star shaped lantern was very simple in the past, without sparkling ornaments like today's lantern," Te told Xinhua. "When I was young, we had no candles, so we used dry seeds of pomelo fruit to light up our lanterns," the 83-year-old recalled.

Nowadays, many of the shops on Hanoi streets have been filled up with toys and ornaments, drawing many people to take photos and buy toys.

In the past decade, together with traditional toys, paper masks and paper lanterns, many Vietnamese people have had more choices with battery-powered lanterns and plastic lanterns. The streets selling toys are often packed with people around this time of year.

"In recent years as the economic condition has improved, Vietnamese people can go to shopping malls and business centers to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival, while in the past, children often played with other kids at home or in community houses," Bui Khanh Linh, 21, told Xinhua.

Sharing the same view as Linh, Nguyen Phu Thinh, an 18-year-old student in Hanoi said that "children now have many new toys and new games to play during Mid-Autumn Festival."

Like some other Asian countries where people honor lunar cycles, Vietnam celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. But unlike the other Asian countries, the Mid- Autumn Festival in Vietnam is recognized as a children's festival.

Despite changes in celebration practices, Mid-Autumn Festival still offers great fun for Vietnamese children. "I like Mid-Autumn Festival a lot as I can go out to play and have many toys," Pham Phuong Anh, a 10-year-old primary school pupil told Xinhua.

A series of activities have been held in Hanoi in the past week to welcome Mid-Autumn Festival, including lion dances, musical performances, lantern parades and Mid-Autumn party-making competitions, among others. Endi