11th September, 2011

Unforgetable Mid-Autumn Festival at the AIAB


“Mid-Autumn Festival has come

I walk with my lantern all around town

With joy and happiness in my heart

I sing and dance under the full moon.”


The words of this Vietnamese children’s song about Mid-Autumn Festival quite nicely sums up the atmosphere of our first Mid-Autumn Festival at the AIAB, Lotus Pond Temple. The cool evening breeze welcomed many families, altogether there must have been over 120 people at the AIAB to celebrate under the full moon. The festival began with an East-meets-West dinner comprised of spaghetti and “phở”, a delicious Vietnamese noodle soup enjoyed by everyone. Last weekend some children, teenagers, and even some monastics came together to make their own lanterns. Tonight they would have the chance to parade them under the full moon. The collective atmosphere of being a big extended family all gathering to enjoy each others’ presence brought a smile to everyone’s face. The children laughed and played in the safety of their parents’ presence, while the parents connected and enjoyed the relaxed, joyful space away from their cramped apartments and work tension. Drinking tea, savouring moon cakes and singing songs brought back memories of childhood festivities with our families. Some parents said that they felt 20 years younger because they were able to enjoy the lantern parade with their children. It was such a wholesome and rare opportunity to relax in the embrace of the community, especially for many Vietnamese who live far from their family circle, and who really have to strive to make ends meet and to give their children a better future than their own.