Mid-Autumn Festival (also known as the Moon Festival) is a popular harvest festival celebrated by Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean (even though they celebrate it differently). It is held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month.
In Vietnam, it’s called Tet Trung Thu, one of the most popular family holidays. Vietnamese families plan their activities around their children on this special day. In a Vietnamese folklore, parents were working so hard to prepare for the harvest that they left the children playing by themselves. To make up for lost time, parents would use Mid-Autumn Festival as an opportunity to show their love and appreciation for their children.
Appropriately, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also called the Children’s Festival. This tradition continues in many Vietnamese communities outside of Vietnam. Tet Trung Thu activities are often centered around children and education. Parents buy lanterns for their children so that they can participate in a candlelight lantern procession. 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 lanterns. Children also perform traditional Vietnamese dances and participate in contests for prizes.
Like the Chinese, Vietnamese parents tell their children fairy tales and serve mooncakes and other special treats under the 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. Parents use this story to encourage their children to work hard so that they can become whatever they want to be.
One important event before and during Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival are unicorn dances. The dances are performed by both non-professional children group and trained professional groups. Unicorn dance groups perform on the streets go to houses asking for performing. If accepted by the host, "the unicorn" will come in and start dancing as a wish of luck and fortune, and the host gives back lucky money to show thankfulness.
www.wikipedia.org & www.familyculture.com