Not only is Children’s Day celebrated, but the Mid-Autumn Festival is also an occasion for descendants to show their respect to their ancestors. During this time, families often prepare an altar to invite their ancestors to come together and reunite.
Ritual for the 8th Month Full Moon
Below is the ritual for the 8th month full moon according to the Traditional Vietnamese Customs by Cultural Information Publishers.
I respectfully bow down to the Heaven, Earth, and the deities.
I respectfully bow down to the Guardian Spirits of this land, the Mother Earth, and the Kitchen God, together with other deities.
I respectfully bow down to the ancestors, elder brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, paternal and maternal relatives.
The believers (we) are residing at…
Today is the 8th month full moon day, coinciding with the Mid-Autumn Festival. The believers (we) sincerely prepare offerings, flowers, fruits, and light incense to offer in front of the altar.
We respectfully invite the Guardian Spirits of this land, the Guardian Spirits of the Earth, the Kitchen God, the Five Directions, the Dragon Veins, and the God of Wealth. We humbly request that you descend to witness our sincere heart and enjoy the offerings.
We respectfully invite our ancestors, elder brothers, sisters, and all ancestral spirits… We humbly request your benevolence to come and bless us, witness our sincerity, and enjoy the offerings.
The believers (we) also respectfully invite the previous owners, current owners residing in this house and land, in the past and in the future. We ask for your blessings for our well-being, peaceful destiny, and abundance in all four seasons and eight important periods.
We offer our sincere gratitude and respect, pay our tribute in front of the altar, and humbly request for your protection and assistance.
The petition is respectfully submitted!
Origin of the Mid-Autumn Festival
Although it is not possible to accurately determine the origin of the Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam, according to archaeological experts, it has been celebrated since ancient times. The scene of celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival is depicted on the Ngoc Lu drum. According to the inscriptions of Doi Pagoda in 1121, the Mid-Autumn Festival was officially organized in the capital city of Thang Long during the Ly Dynasty with boat races, water puppet shows, and lantern processions. During the reign of the Le-Trinh Dynasty, the Mid-Autumn Festival was celebrated in a very lavish manner in the Lord’s palace.
The Mid-Autumn Festival has its origins in the agricultural civilization of the Vietnamese people. This time of the year has pleasant weather, and farmers have completed their harvest, so they organize celebrations to rejoice and pray for favorable weather and a bountiful harvest in the upcoming season.
The tales about the Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam are associated with the character Cuoi. While the Chinese people perform dragon dances during this festival, the Vietnamese perform lion dances or unicorn dances – symbolic creatures representing luck, prosperity, and auspiciousness.
In Vietnam, the Mid-Autumn Festival is mostly focused on children. On this day, children are often given toys such as star-shaped lanterns, masks, dragon lanterns, and figurines made from flour. They also get to enjoy eating mooncakes. People also prepare moonwatching altars on the full moon night of the 8th month. In the past, the Vietnamese also organized drum dances and lantern processions during the Mid-Autumn Festival. When the night falls and the moon rises high, children will both dance and sing while admiring the moon and breaking the toys.
On the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival, families often prepare an altar to offer sacrifices to their ancestors. This is an opportunity for descendants to express their respect and gratitude to their roots, as well as for people to show care for each other.
In addition, on this day, adults prepare moon-viewing feasts for children to enjoy. The feast typically includes mooncakes, candies, sugarcane, pomelos, and various fruits. Moreover, each child is given a lantern lit by a candle or powered by a battery to join the lantern procession together.
Modern life has made it difficult for many places to organize lantern processions, but spending time with family, cutting a piece of mooncake, and drinking tea together is enough to bring a sense of peace, happiness, and the spirit of togetherness of the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival. And especially, children are still the central figures of this celebration, with the meaning of taking care of the young generation of the country, so that Vietnam always thrives and survives.