The year goes by very quickly. September is the time for Vietnamese students to start a new school year, and also the time when children celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival (Tet Trung Thu), a tradition for South-East Asian children. Simple star-shaped lanterns made of bamboo and pieces of colorful nylon, seem to be sparkling like the joy and hope in the eyes and smiles of the children.
Star-shaped lanterns are an indispensable part of a traditional Mid-Autumn Festival. The moon-sighting party, with lion dances and a lantern parade, was performed by the children with brilliantly colored lanterns and much laughter.
HANG and HOA cleaning and preparing fruit for the moon sighting party
Preparing for the lantern parade
The Children’s Homes also received the attention of local leaders who brought moon cakes and candies to share with children in the Homes.
With the theme of unity, the Mid-Autumn Festival is an occasion to meet together and enjoy each other’s company. Those who study at remote Colleges and Universities returned home to spend time with their adopted mothers, brothers and sisters.
HUY, 16 years old, currently studying at the College of Arts returned this year. This was the first year away from home and the Mid-Autumn Festival was a great opportunity for him to reunite with his Home family.
HUE, a third-year student of Thai Nguyen Teaching University, worked to complete her lessons before traveling 120 kilometers in a 3 hour car ride to return to the people she still calls “family”. “Wherever I go, I still remember them.”
I look forward to the Mid-Autumn Festival very much. As soon as Mom OANH called and told me the time for the festival, I immediately arranged to go back to Children’s Home to see her, and my younger brothers and sisters for the celebration. Every year is the same. Mid-Autumn in our Home is fun!
HUY and the Home Mother, OANH
HUE at the moon sighting table
I am very happy. This year, there are a lot of moon cakes, candies, and fruits. Our local leaders came to play with us. How delicious moon cakes are!
I hope that from now on, our children’s homes organize the Festival in this way [Two or three homes celebrating together.] Everybody is happily dancing and singing together and celebrating the new moon with lanterns. Mom TOAN gave me a star-shaped lantern so I am very happy.