Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival at Thăng Long Imperial Citadel


Mid-Autumn Festival is an important occasion for the Vietnamese people as well as many other Asians. The festival has now become a very big event for children, because they can party late into the night under the moon light and receive gifts of all sorts from adults, including confectionery and toys. That is not to mention a myriad     of games and entertainment activities children can indulge themselves in. Just a few days away from the new schoolyear, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also a perfect occasion for parents and grandparents to give their beloved children and grandchildren little tokens of childhood memories.

However, traditional celebration of the festival has faded under the impact of modern life, and remains vivid only in the distant memory of the elderly people. Children today rarely take any keen interest in the traditional toys made manually by the skilled hands of the craftspeople from different parts of the countries. Very few artisans and craftspeople are working with their whole hearts and minds to keep alive a tradition of the past both to make ends meet and to safeguard “the spirit of the Mid-Autumn Festival”.

For this year, with a view to giving visitors and children in particular interesting yet rewarding experience, the Thăng Long-Hà Nội Heritage Conservation Centre has worked closely with the folk artisans to organize an event called “Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival of 2016” at the Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long. The programme is to take place between 9 November and 11 November 2016, featuring many traditional cultural activities imbued with the national identities so as to contribute to the conservation of the intangible cultural heritage of Thăng Long – Hà Nội.

In the spacious open area of the Thăng Long Imperial Citadel, children with have a chance to enjoy puppetry shows, lion dances performed respectively by the puppeteers of Tế Tiêu guild and the lion dancers of Triều Khúc village. Various traditional folk games are also revived for children to partake in the celebration. These games include carrying rice across a bamboo bridge, seesaw, tug of war, boomerang, wooden horse, stick-and-ball (chơi chuyền), board game (ô ăn quan), clay crackers, blindfolded drummer (bịt mắt đánh trống) and sack race (nhảy bao bố).


Apart from indulging in various types of entertainment, children will also have a chance to watch the artisans making traditional toys and moon cakes. They will be shown how to produce these products on their own as well as to experience the art of making masks, star-shaped lanterns, rabbit lanterns, revolving lanterns, glutinous rice figurines (Tò he); paper scholars (Tiến sỹ giấy) and announcers. They will also be trying their hands on the ceramicware of Bát Tràng, creating animals and items from clay.


Visitors may well engage in small talks with many famous artisans such as Ms Đinh Thị Tú Anh from Phương Soát Bakery in Hàng Đường Street; Mr Hoàng Bá Nhất – the mask maker from Thuận Thành – Bắc Ninh; Mr Vũ Văn Sinh – the lantern maker from Thanh Oai – Hà Nội; Ms Nguyễn Thị Tuyến – the famous maker of paper scholars from Vân Canh – Hà Nội; Mr Đỗ Văn Kỳ the maker of rabbit and bonze lanterns from Thường Tín – Hà Nội; Mr Lương Mạnh Hải – the potter of Bát Tràng ceramic village; Mr Đặng Văn Tiên, the maker of rice figurines (tò he), among others.

You have a chance to meet and talk to Artisan Vũ Văn Sinh, who has been working extremely hard to create unique products for display on this festive occasion at Thăng Long Imperial Citadel this year. He told us that he really looks forward to showing visitors, children and adults alike, how to make star-shaped and revolving lanterns at Thăng Long Imperial Citadel. He also expressed his belief that the colorful and large-sized lanterns, which tell stories of fascinating characters, will appeal to children of all ages.

The images of the revolving and the star-shaped lanterns as well as the legendary characters associated with the full moon like the Goddess of Moon (Hằng Nga), and the Young Cuội are bound to remain vivid in the mind of many people. Join us to revitalize those beautiful traditions and memories by taking part in the celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival at Thăng Long Imperial Citadel.