These days when you come to Ha Long Bay, you will experience the wonderful blue sky with the nice breeze in the air. Boarding the Athena Cruise for the first night, everyone is so cheerful and there is a festive atmosphere in the air that you notice right away. On the Sun Deck, many lanterns are litted, making the scene so much more romantic and dream liked. A tea party is prepare with fresh fruits of the autumn like puppy shape pamelo, persimon, clementine, a special moon shape cake that later on you know that its name is actually Moon Cake, and the tea that smells amazing. Everything is waiting for you to sit back and relax, to enjoy Ha Long Bay under the moon that is rounder and fuller every night. And if you ask, we will tell you with the biggest happy smile: The Mid Autumn Festival is coming! From the Oct 2nd to the Oct 4th, we invite you to join us in the Vietnamese extraordinary Mid Autumn Festival on board which will make your experience in Ha Long Bay become so much more special!
The Mid-Autumn Festival, or “Tết Trung Thu”, is one of the biggest festivals in Vietnam. It is traditionally celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th Lunar Month when the moon is roundest and fullest, after rice has been harvested. Lanterns and decorations fill the streets as people prepare for the festival, cooking the traditional treat – Mooncake: a pastry served steamed or fried and filled with lotus seed, ground mung bean, and egg; variations may also contain taro, ham, pandan and honeydew. Households and families gather and offer sacrifices to the God of Earth, praying for wealth, fertility, happiness and good health. The sounds of singing, laughing and drumming bands echo through the villages and cities as crowds gather to watch the parading Lion and Dragon Dances.
For Western cultures, the Mid Autumn Festival has similarities to Thanksgiving and Halloween. The celebration of the Mid Autumn Festival dates back to the Shang Dynasty, circa 1600-1046 B.C.E. Today the Mid Autumn Festival is celebrated all throughout Asia. The folk tales of Vietnam have many stories about its meaning, the most interesting of which is the story of Cuội, a man in the Moon separated from his wife, counting the passing days and years until he can return to Earth to see his lost love. Mid Autumn Festival is truly one of the most extraordinary cultural celebrations of Vietnam.