Sunday, September 11, 2011 has been a solemn occasion full of reflection on the past and future. During the past week, my husband and I watched several TV programs and read magazine and newspaper articles about the tragic events that happened a decade ago. Perhaps we overloaded ourselves with 9/11 but today, on the actual anniversary date of the attacks, I decided to switch gears to focus on tomorrow, Monday, September 12, 2011.
It’s going to be the Mid-Autumn Festival (Tet Trung Thu in Vietnamese, Zhong Qiu Jie in Mandarin). It’s also called the Moon Festival because the moon shines never fails to shine super big and bright. Referring to the festival legends behind the holiday, my mom once remarked, “It’s this time of the year that you can see the woman in the moon.” So tonight, I went into the backyard and looked up to see this moon:
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival, a time for giving thanks for the plenty of the year that has past. We no longer lead agricultural lives but we can still pause to feel grateful for life’s bounty.
The festival is one of the most important holidays of its kind among those of Chinese, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese descent. People gather with friends and family to hang out and eat. I remember being in Hong Kong one year strolling along the Kowloon side of the harbor among throngs of people out to gaze at the moon. Kids carried colorful cellophane and wood lanterns to imitate the moon, reminding me of when I was a child in Vietnam.