MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL – THINKING ABOUT THE FOLK TOYS AND ETHNIC CULTURE
Mid-Autumn Festival takes place on the full moon day of the August in Lunar Year, in Mid-Autumn night the moon is fullest and brightest of the year. In the mind of Asians generally and Vietnamese people particularly Mid-Autumn Festival is the time of reunion. This is an opportunity for the family to gather. This is also an opportunity for grandparents and parents to show their love for their children, to find their origin together, educate the younger generation through folk tales and objects which have unique cultural and customs meanings.
Traditional Vietnamese mid-autumn toys are often associated with “wet-rice agricultural culture”, and they are all handcrafted from ingredients close to nature and trees. The common feature of traditional toys is brilliant, colorful, fussy but extremely simple. The acients thought that games and toys were not only for entertainment but also as educational and nurturing tools for the young generation.
Referring to the moonlight procession, it is impossible not to think of the “star-shaped lanterns”. “The star-shaped lantern” is familiar to all generations of Vietnamese people every occasion of Mid-Autumn Festival. Although some traditional Mid-Autumn toys are fading, the “star-shaped lantern” still exists and is always a meaningful gift for children in the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The “star-shaped lantern” is always a decoration in the Mid-Autumn Festival at PhoDong Village.
In addition to the “star-shaped lanterns”, the paper lantern or paper lamb are also the few traditional Vietnamese mid-autumn toys that are still preserved and loved today. Paper lanterns made of colorful paper of all kinds, or homemade lanterns from cans, boxes, even grapefruit peels were indelible cultural features of the Vietnamese generation 70s, 80s.
Lanterns are everywhere at PhoDong Village to welcome children during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Today, children often throw up modern, battery-operated lanterns that can blink and play bustling music themselves, but the image of Vietnamese children excitedly holding up colorful “star-shaped lantern” with the sparkling candlelight and then singing: “The starlight, the bright 5-pointed star …” is beautiful memories that never fades.
Paper lanterns are decorated at scenes in PhoDong Village during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
PhoDong Village also celebrates a Mid-Autumn Lantern Procession contest with lovely handmade lanterns that children and parents decorate by themselves.
“Pagoda lanterns” are also familiar traditional toy in Vietnam every reunion. It is a unique toy, like an automatic shadow puppet show because the “pieces” placed neatly in the lantern will magically move when lit. When candles are light, images representing “troops” drawn, cut or glued in the lamp will appear on the lamp surface like shadow puppets and rotate due to the thrust of hot air generated from the flame. This is a “fun to learn” toy, the acients used to tell their descendants about history, about patriotism through the image of the battle army glued around the lights. After that, the “troops” were evaluated and more diversified such as: the Poinsettia – first doctoral candidate – coming home, the farmers working,…
“Pagoda lanterns” are also familiar traditional toy in Vietnam every reunion.
In ancient times, there were many children who were infatuated with “Pagoda lanterns” for its miracle and originality. Today, the improved “Pagoda lanterns” are not only lit with candles, but are also lit by batteries or simply simulated to make moon cake boxes.
Among the many traditional Mid-Autumn toys that “awaken” the hyperactive and energetic children, the “Toy Figurine” is a toy that directs children to art, ingenuity and meticulousness. The “Toy Figurine” is a colorful dream, a funny world of children represented through fairy characters, adorable animals, made from sticky-rice-flour and sugar.
Through skillful hands and creativity, artistic techniques, the craftsman made the “Toy Figurines”of all shapes, showing the emotions on the face.
The “Toy Figurine” is a colorful dream, a funny world of children represented through fairy characters, adorable animals.
In addition to folk songs, rhymes, storytelling by lanterns, or delicate the “Toy Figurine”, the Mid-Autumn Festival is jubilant and bustling with sounds which is full of typical flavors of this reunion. As one of the favorite traditional Mid-Autumn toys, the image of children hitting frog-drums, shaking hands with elation is a common image in the Mid-Autumn Festival Lantern Processions of Vietnamese.
Frog-drums are one kind of the favorite traditional Mid-Autumn toys.
PhoDong Village always aims to continue the meaning of native culture from the acients through community activities organized for residents on holidays and Tet.
In recent years, many activities to introduce ethnic cultures and traditional folk toys have been organized by The Developer SCC – developer the Model urban area PhoDong Village – on Mid-Autumn Festival, has attracted a large number of residents to participate, explore and learn.
Dad and daughter work together to make a handmade “star-shaped lantern”to take part in the Mid-Autumn Festival Lantern Procession at PhoDong Village.
The Developer SCC – developer the Model urban area PhoDong Village – always focuses on fun activities towards the cultural beauty of the nation for children.
The colorful lanterns are meticulously cared for by the PhoDong Village residents along with the children all day long before the Mid-Autumn Festival Lantern Procession.
Hope that the spiritual gifts and symbols of the Mid-Autumn Festival associated with the childhood memories of the Vietnamese generations are preserved will help parents, children and resident community in PhoDong Village learn more about the beauty of folk culture of the August full-moon night with Vietnamese traditional manners.