Every year, around the last week of August, children in Vietnam would start getting restless. One reason is because summer is close to an end, although around this point in Vietnam it would still be very hot. Another major reason is the approach of a well-loved festival aptly named the Mid-autumn Festival or Trung Thu in Vietnamese. The Festival is not unique to Vietnam, countries such as China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore also celebrate their own version of the Mid-Autumn Festival. In Vietnam, the festival is sometimes called the Children’s Festival due to its emphasis on children, the reason being that children’s innocence allow them a closer connection to the sacred spiritual world.
Vietnamese children celebrating the Mid-Autumn festival with colorful lanterns. Source: Wikipedia.com
People anticipate the Mid-autumn festival for different reasons: the beautiful decorations around the city, the flickering lights and lanterns, the toys, the lively gathering of the people in the neighbourhood, the myths and legends that are retold every year, delicious moon cakes, etc… Whichever reason it is, the celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival is entrenched in Vietnamese culture. It is hard to imagine an autumn devoid of all the joy this festival brings. And yet, many Vietnamese expats have had to forego this tradition and many Vietnamese children born abroad have never had the chance to experience this significant part of Vietnamese culture.
Being an expat herself, Vietcentric’s founder Lien understood more than anyone else the longing for the warm embrace of familiarity and home. And so staying true to Vietcentric’s mission, Ms. Lien and her team introduced the Mid-Autumn Festival to Nottingham for the first time in September 2017, receiving a lot of love and attention from the Nottingham community. The festival is set to happen again this year September 23rd at Vietcentric with even more in the program for the whole family to enjoy. The event is not only open to Vietnamese expats, but anyone and everyone who wants to have a Sunday afternoon filled with laughter and fun, all the meanwhile immersing themselves into Vietnamese culture.
Local children enjoying a traditional game with the Vietcentric team.
The Mid-Autumn Festival at its heart is a time for the family to bond and welcome the complete transition from summer’s warm, vibrant sunshine into autumn’s chilly rain and somber atmosphere, together. This year’s Mid-Autumn Festival at Vietcentric will consist of stalls featuring Vietnamese BBQ, Vietnamese cakes, a handmade souvenirs stall, and a Korean food stall amongst other exciting vendors. There will also be traditional games for everyone to enjoy. Children can also participate in the pre-booked service which includes games for both children and parents to participate in together, traditional festival activities, and complimentary moon cakes and refreshments.
Intense competition between the parents and the kids for the best D.I.Y. lantern!
Organizing the Mid-Autumn Festival is Vietcentric’s way of paying homage to its roots and also a way to foster cultural vibrancy in the Nottingham community.
Take a look at some more pictures from last year’s celebration for an idea of what to expect!
Adults can have fun too!