While having their own distinct culture, the Vietnamese also shares a few traditions and festivities with the Chinese. One of which is Tết Trung Thu, the Vietnamese Moon Festival, which is held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. Like the Chinese moon festival, the tradition is also celebrated with lanterns which come in different forms and colours and sweet delicious moon cakes.
That being said, the Vietnamese moon festival is more commonly known as “The Children’s Festival”, as most of the events are for children. This is because in the olden days, the Vietnamese considered children as being the closest representation of innocence and purity in the natural world, so it was seen as the best way to connect with the animal spirits.
Like the Chinese Moon Festival legend of Chang E, the Vietnamese too have their own legends surround the tradition, one of the most well-known being the Legend of Thằng Cuội. Cuội had a sacred banyan tree that could restore life. He always reminded his wife to water it with clean water, so it did not get exposed to contamination. However, one day the wife forgot to water the tree when Cuội was away and so she urinated on it. The tree began to grow incessantly and when Cuội tried to chop it down with an axe, he got stuck on the tree and floated upwards with it. Eventually, Cuội was stranded on the moon. Therefore, each year the children light colorful lanterns to lead Cuội back to Earth.
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