This year’s Mid-Autumn Festival comes sooner for Ha Noi children, and colourful of toys and drumbeats are everywhere. More and more agencies, units and parents have organised events, bought toys, guided children to play folk games. Although society is becoming more modern, the children still enjoy the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival.
There is still nearly one week to the Mid-Autumn Festival, but the book street management board has brought children a Mid-Autumn season with the programme “Full Moon Book Fair”, with the combination of traditional culture and reading culture. The talk “Behind the mask is a cultural story” with the participation of researcher Trang Thanh Hien, head of Ha Noi Classy club, Ngo Quy Duc – who is very enthusiastic about the restoring folk toys and folk games, and artisan Nguyen Van Hoa – the only one who made paper masks in Ha Noi’s Old Quarter, attracting hundreds of children. When plastic masks are decorated with lights, traditional masks are forgotten. But researchers Trang Thanh Hien and Ngo Quy Duc helped the children “upstream” to find folk paper masks. Researcher Trang Thanh Hien started the talk with her question: “Do you know that during the Mid-Autumn festival, which mask is the most popular?” Many arms were raised yet most of the answers were incorrect. But the interaction between the speaker and the children makes the story more interesting. Researcher Trang Thanh Hien gave the answer to the children, one of the most popular images is the rabbit mask. The rabbit symbolizes the moon, in the eighth month of lunar calendar, when it is the time of the full moon of the year. Meanwhile, Ngo Quy Duc told his story on connecting artisans in making paper mask and the children.
The exchange programme was more exciting when artisan Nguyen Van Hoa brought his gear to the stage, making paper masks and teaching the children how to make them at home. The children are very happy with the demonstration. The exchange programme ended when the children made their own masks. According to Ngo Ngan Ha, in Chua Boc Street, Dong Da district, in Hanoi shared that her little boy has finished painting his mask. In past years, she has bought a mask for him, however, this is the first time I understand the meaning of marks. “My son was very interested in the mask, which he has hand-painted, and he kept the mask as a treasure.”, she added.
Also at the book street’s space, the ‘to he’ (toy figurines) artisan Dang Van Hau from ‘to he’ Xuan La craft village, Phu Xuyen district, also held an exchange programme. The artisan’s story on ‘to he’ gave the children a happy laugh. From understanding the meaning of the ‘to he’, the children learn to love and develop an abiding interest in folk art.
Last weekend, it seems that Trinh Cong Son walking street area in Tay Ho district exploded with the Olympic folk games of Viet Nam. This is the first time that folk games are held on a large scale for young people, organised by the UNESCO Center for International Cultural Exchange and Preservation (ICEP – Ha Noi Classy) and San Dinh Group. In the framework of the event, the organizing panel kicked off the qualifying rounds of the Olympic Folk Games with four traditional games, namely bag jumping, Mandarin Square Capturing, walking on stilts and pitching pennies. According to a representative of San Dinh Group, Nguyen Thi Thuy Van said that many of the folk games help children move, practice ingenuity and develop intellectually. “Our biggest wish is to help young people understand more about folk games and games, helping the folk games come back to life,” Van added. A total of 14 folk games were introduced by the San Dinh group. Not only enjoyed by children, many young people and adults also have the opportunity to return to their childhoods through playing folk games. The activity was expected to contribute to spreading the unique cultural values of Vietnamese folk games, engaging communities and different family generations, as well as developing life skills for younger generations.
The traditional Mid-Autumn Festival has also been held at cultural addresses in Ha Noi’s Old Quarter. A wide range of cultural activities were prepared at Kim Ngan communal house and the Ha Noi Old Quarter Culture Exchange Centre, aiming to create a traditional cultural space for children. In the coming days, the addresses, such as Thang Long Imperial Citadel in Ha Noi, Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature) will also organise a Mid-Autumn Festival for children. Although the event is not the same, there will be folk games and folk toys. After a short time, the toys and folk games have returned, allowing children to enjoy a Mid-Autumn Festival with a more traditional flavor, helping to the national culture and heritage to thrive.