In Vietnam the Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated at the same time as in China, but the traditions are a bit different. Rice is harvested before the 15th day of the 8th lunar month (mid-autumn) in Vietnam and households offer sacrifices to the God of Earth on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Mooncakes, fruit and snacks are laid out on a worshipping platform set up outside in the yard. The family sit together and eat the snacks and mooncakes under the moon. At midnight the platform comes down, after all the food has been eaten!
A Vietnamese legend goes that a carp spirit once killed people during the Mid-Autumn Festival night, scaring the householders from going outside to celebrate. Then a wise man came up with the idea of making a carp shaped lantern and advised people to walk about with the lanterns at night. This terrified the carp spirit who has not dared to go out and kill anyone since. These days children have a variety of shapes of paper lanterns and play under the moonlight with them during the Festival.
Another Vietnamese tradition is for children to perform the lion dance. At night, groups of children go door to door and ask householders for permission to perform the lion dance, as it is believed to bring good luck and fortune. The children receive ‘lucky’ money in gratitude for the performance. The streets come alive with many lions roaming about, and children of all ages taking part.
Whatever traditions you follow for the Mid-Autumn or Moon Festival you will find a gorgeous selection of mooncake flavours and presentation boxes at TANG The Asian Food Emporium at 185 Russell Street, Melbourne.