Activities and Crafts for the Vietnamese Holiday Moon Festival (Tet Trung Thu)
By Lea Ann Kaplan
Suggested activities and crafts to celebrating the Vietnamese Moon Festival with your children, from the Seattle Washington Chapter of Families with Children from Viet Nam (FCV).
Moon Festival Paper Lanterns
I bought paper lanterns and we hung them. We also helped the children make their own paper lanterns.
Colored construction papers, ribbon, scissors, stapler, tape, sting, hole punch, dowels, cardboard cut into circles.
Fold a construction paper in half, lengthwise. Cut slits on the folded edge. Unfold the paper and staple the edges to hold it in a lantern shape. Use the hole punch to make a few holes on the top edge of the lantern and attach string. Use the hole punch on the bottom edge to make holes and tie pieces of ribbon through them. Tape the cardboard circles on the bottom of the lantern. You can use chemical light sticks (available in most hardware or camping supply stores and at Halloween supply areas of stores) inside the lantern instead of a candle.
Moon Festival Parade and Stories
Children can have a parade with their lanterns while listening to this song (below). Our kids were too young this year. You can also make simple musical instruments like tambourines, rattles, and drums to add to the parade.
You can tell the story of the lady on the moon. You can use puppets or felt characters as props.
Books and Music for the Moon Festival:
Moon Festival Books
- Celebrations Around the World A Multicultural Handbook
- Look What We've Brought You From Vietnam (out of print)
- Recent Moon Festival books
Moon Festival Moon Cakes
I bought moon cakes. I also made moon cakes based on this recipe from Asia for Kids.
When I used this recipe, it only made 15 cakes and they were done in 11 minutes.
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup all- purpose flour
- red bean paste (1 can) or 1 cup jam
1. In the large mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar and 1 egg yolk. Stir until creamy and combine completely.
2. Add the flour and mix thoroughly. Form the dough into one large ball and wrap it in aluminum foil. Put this in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
3. Unwrap the chilled dough and, with clean hands, form small balls in the palms of your hand. These are the moon cakes.
4. Make a hole with your thumb gently in the center of each moon cake and fill with about half a teaspoon of your favorite jam or red bean paste.
5. Brush each cake with beaten egg yolk.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the moon cakes for about 20 minutes or just until the outside edges are slightly brown.