Moon festival memories

There’s a magical street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter called Hang Ma. It sells toys, birthday party supplies, and things to help the young at heart celebrate whatever holiday is coming up.

Last month was Tet Trung Thu, Vietnam’s mid-autumn moon festival. This festival is focused especially on children, so Hang Ma was bursting with goods and buyers.

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There were masks for sale.

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Stuffed animals.

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Joke glasses.

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There were handmade, mass-produced festival emblems made out of colored paper, like this star. Others take the shape of animals – fish shapes are everywhere – and are made to hold a candle or other small light and be a lantern. Nighttime kids’ parades with these lanterns are apparently a traditional feature of the moon festival.

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The one above features the face of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam’s hero.

In addition to the handmade traditional stuff, there was tons of tacky modern toys, too.

A wander on Hang Ma is a must for the fall season. Can’t wait to see what’s coming there for Christmas…

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