Artisans add the magic touch as Saigon gears up for full moon party

Saigon gears up for full moon party

This 50-year-old craft village is working on overdrive to finish the multicolored lanterns that will light up the mid-autumn festival (Moon Party)

There’s a festive spirit in the air at Phu Binh residential complex in Saigon’s District 11, where most houses are filled with colorful lanterns.

Migrants from the northern province of Nam Dinh set up shop here around half a century ago, and have been making lanterns ever since.

Moon Party

This family is all hands on.

They started preparing materials months ago and plan to produce more than 2,000 lanterns for customers in the city, Da Nang and provinces further south.

Moon Party

Nguyen Duc Thang splits a bamboo stick to make lantern frames. “One person can make up to 40 frames a day,” he said.- JUSTPLAY18

Moon Party

Thang said making a lantern is a painstaking process that starts with drying and chopping the bamboo and finishes with adding the final strokes of color to the glass paper.

The lanterns can fetch from VND60,000 ($2.64) to VND800,000 ($35). Thang said he works in construction as a second job.

Moon Party

A dragon in the making. Glass paper lanterns have regained their popularity in Vietnam in recent years amid a rising boycott of Chinese electronic toys.

Many parents, either feeling nostalgic or guilty about giving their children too much screen time, also want them to be unplugged and more involved in something traditional.

Moon Party

A phoenix is made from steel rods which are easier to bend than bamboo.

Moon Party

This giant chicken has been tailor made for one buyer.

Moon Party

Delivery lanterns. A dealer said the city has also received orders from Singapore and Thailand, which also celebrate the full moon festival in the eighth lunar month.

The Mid-Autumn festival dates back to the Rice Civilization of the Red River delta, over 4,000 years ago.

It is fantastic and charming with its history.

It is held on the 15th day on the 8th lunar month (often in late September or early October) in the middle of autumn and it is celebrated for a whole day.

On this day, the adults and the parents prepare many different foods – Moon cakes, candies, biscuits, jellies, and fruit, such as grapefruit, longan fruit, bananas, apples, mango, etc. All of them are designed with fun symbols, for example: dog, cat, mouse …

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