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Lanterns for the Mid Autumn Festival

By: Jonny Platt Posted: September-30-2009 in
Jonny Platt

The mid-autumn festival, or Tet Trung Thu as it is known in Vietnam, is a major festival celebrated on the 15th of the 8th Lunar Month every year. This year, it falls on Saturday 3rd October.

The festival has been celebrated for over 2000 years as an opportunity to celebrate the moon, and it is a family occasion that is especially exciting for children.Vietnamese children look forwards to the festival in much the same way Western children get excited in the run up to Christmas, and they celebrate the festival by making and carrying colourful lanterns , eating Moon Cakes and watching Lion Dances.

Anyone living in Vietnam will have noticed the annual explosion of bakeries set up to sell Moon Cakes, dense pastries filled with lotus seed paste and eggs that are normally eaten in slices rather than whole. But for a different experience of the excitement in the build up to Tet Trung Thu, we drove deep into District 5, Saigon, where you can find a small yet buzzing area packed with gleaming lantern shops and teeming with people planning to buy their own.

There's a whole range of lanterns, from traditional paper lanterns to animals, ships and even racing cars made of cellophane that light up when a candle is placed inside. There are also more sturdy lanterns, some of which spin round and tell a story thanks to the heat of the light within.

To get there, drive down Tran Hung Dao almost to the very end, then turn right onto Luong Nhu Hoc. If you cross a wide road called Chau Van Liem you've gone too far.


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