By Thuy Nguyen for Boston Compass (#127)
September 14, 2020
The Networking Organization for Vietnamese Americans will be hosting the 8th Trung Thu Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. In a typical year, the festival is held at Town Field Park in September and is open for all to celebrate and learn about this Vietnamese holiday. Imagine a small-scale Topsfield fair with lanterns and local flair. There are lion dances, singing and dancing performances, demonstrations, storytelling skits, lantern-making contests, food vendors, and free giveaways for children ranging from school supplies, toys, fun raffles,
and lanterns. It’s been a great way to kick off the school year.
Historically, Tết Trung Thu is a holiday in Vietnam that celebrates the harvest and family gatherings. It is also known as a children’s festival where children participate in parades while carrying unique lanterns. People also pay homage to the moon, drink tea, and listen to poetry and songs. Mooncakes or bánh trung thu are often gifted and shared amongst family and friends. These pastries come in a variety of flavors and consist of lotus seeds, ground beans, and orange peels, with a special bright egg yolk center meant to represent the moon. Curious to try this delicacy? Several businesses and grocery shops in Dorchester already offer bánh trung thu including Ba Mi Ba Le, Nhu Lan Restaurant, and Bep Bui.