Appropriately, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also called the Children’s Festival. In the United States, this tradition continues in many Vietnamese-American communities. Trung-Thu activities are often centered on children and education. Parents buy lanterns for their children so that they can participate in a candlelit lantern procession at dawn.
Lanterns represent brightness while the procession symbolizes success in school. Vietnamese markets sell a variety of lanterns, but the most popular children’s lantern is the star lantern. Other children’s activities include arts and crafts in which children make face masks and lanterns. Children also perform traditional Vietnamese dances for adults and participate in contests for prizes and scholarships. Unicorn dancers are also very popular in this festival.
Like the Chinese, Vietnamese parents tell their children fairy tales and serve mooncakes and other special treats under the silvery moon. A favorite folklore is about a carp that wanted to become a dragon. The carp worked and worked and eventually transformed itself into a dragon. This is the story behind the mythical symbol, "Cá hóa Rồng". Parents use this story to encourage their children to work hard so that they can become whatever they want to be.
It can be said that the meaning of Mid-Autumn Festival has changed over time. Originally, it’s not a special day for children, but for adult. Today, it’s Children’s Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival is still a meaningful tradition. It’s the sense of caring, of gratitude, of friendship, of family gathering, and of showing the love. We – Vietnamese citizens should maintain and develop this noble sense.