Tết Trung Thu: Festival


AV is of Vietnamese descent and dives into a festival native to his culture and how it has impacted his life.


When I was young, I eagerly awaited the Mid-Autumn Festival every year, or Tết Trung Thu in Vietnamese. Streets would be lit up with lanterns of all colors, and families would come together to celebrate the harvest season as well as the full moon. The lion dance, which I always found mesmerizing and exhilarating both for its novelty and its roots in ancient Chinese culture, was one particular highlight of this holiday.

    With age came an understanding of the festival’s underlying significance beyond mooncakes and lanterns. It is not only a time when we can give thanks for plentiful crops; it’s also an opportunity for individuals within communities to consider what they mean to one another about themselves and their environments during this bountiful period. This event holds dear in my heart because it represents unity among people who may otherwise never contact or interact with each other on any level – let alone in such large numbers – while facing difficult times together.

     Yet despite society having become more modernized over time, I strongly believe that traditions like Tết Trung Thu should be preserved at all costs. These customs serve as reminders of what connects us to our roots. Every autumnal equinox evening, as my family celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival, I am filled with pride for being born into these customs that have been passed down through many generations before mine, as I have the privilege of continuing them.


AV shares his appreciation for the Mid-Autumn Festival (Tết Trung Thu) from a personal perspective, highlighting the cultural significance and community aspects that come along with the celebration. AV recalls childhood memories with the festival’s visual and performative elements like colorful lanterns and the lion dance, which are steeped in ancient traditions. Through time and maturity, AV shifts the understanding of the festival’s broader implications—recognizing it as a time for community introspection and unity, particularly in celebrating the harvest and reflecting on collective and individual identities within the environment.