The Moon & The Harvest

Vietnam celebrates mid-autumn with a grand, delightful festival, held every year on the 15th night of the 8th lunar month. It is on this night that the moon’s orbit is at the lowest angle to the Earth’s horizon, making her appear larger and brighter than any other time of the year. 

Coincidentally, this very special night also marks the end of the harvest season. As the adults are busy in the fields gathering rice, the children are often left to their own devices. After all the crops have been gathered, the Mid-Autumn Festival is the perfect, joyous occasion for parents to reunite with their children and create fond memories with loved ones. 

The Mid-Autumn Festival in Twinkling Night Prints

In Vietnam, no other town does a full moon celebration quite like Hoi An, especially when it comes time to honor the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. Lion dancers play antics on pedestrians as burning incense permeates the jovial air. Uncles leisurely play games of chess on the sidewalk while Aunties hawk wares by the riverside. The serene Thu Bon River glows with colorful floating lanterns. Symbolic beacons that light the way to good fortune, health and happiness, the lanterns - along with the lustrous moonlight - illuminate Hoi An with an enchanting glow.

For Metiseko’s Twinkling Night mulberry silk collection, we join the throngs of townsfolk through the cobblestoned pathways of Hoi An as we find our way to the majestic river under the light of the full moon. Reminiscent, hopeful and full of celebration, Twinkling Night captures the glimmering mid-autumn festivities in its Blessed Bouquet, Lucky Leo and Toile de Faifo prints.

Before the merrymaking begins, families take the time to prepare an altar in the yard. Giving thanks for a successful harvest season and in hopes of continued prosperity, offerings are made to the Moon Goddess and incense is burned. Our Blessed Bouquet prints are inspired by these large bunches of joss sticks, fanned out like blossoming flowers.

Lion dancing is an essential element of mid-autumn celebrations, bringing luck and fortune to viewers. Commanded by children dancers, the lion plays to the crowd with its protruding eyes and large gaping mouth, making the audience scream in delight. As the lion dances under the light of the full moon, its sequined body glistens and sparkles. See the mischievous lions hopping and dancing to the beat of drums in our Lucky Leo prints.

The Old Town in Hoi An is a magical place for the Mid-Autumn Festival. The townsfolk forego artificial lighting and opt for the muted glow of lanterns instead. Revelers take their time meandering the streets, admiring the celebratory sights - the Japanese Bridge, the lanterns and the boats - under the jubilant brilliance of the full moon. Our Toile de Faifo prints capture many of the Old Town mid-autumn festivities in its classic, pastoral design.

The Legend of The Moon Goddess

Once upon many moons ago, ten fiery suns rose and took over the skies, bringing with them long, sweltering days, unquenchable thirst and sunburnt crops. Seeing his family, friends and fellow countrymen suffer with no end in sight, Hau Nghe hatched a plan to take down the great orbs of light. An archer with the arms of a gorilla and the eye of a hawk, Hau shot his arrows at the suns one by one, until there was just one left. 

Thanks to his great skills, the world cooled to a comfortable degree and daily life was more than agreeable. Hau was lauded for his prowess, making a multitude of friends and gaining even more admirers as people caught wind of his amazing feat. But there was just one fair lady who captured his eye and his heart, the beautiful Hang Nga. 

Impressed by Hau’s heroic actions, a goddess presented him with a magic elixir that granted access to Heaven as well as immortality. But because of his great love for Hang, Hau chose to forego a never-ending life in the skies to be by his wife’s side on Earth.

One of Hau’s disciples knew about the elixir and was overcome with greed. Wanting immortality for himself, he patiently waited until Hau went away hunting under the biggest and brightest full moon of the year, on the 15th night of the 8th lunar month. 

The apprentice ambushed Hang at home, demanding that she hand over the liquid of immortality. As she came back with the precious bottle in her hands, she knew she had no choice. Hang opened the vessel and swallowed the elixir, keeping immortality from the evil disciple’s grasp. 

Hau’s wife immediately flew to the sky to join the other immortals in Heaven, making her residence on the moon to be as close as she could be to her husband. It is said that when the full moon is at its brightest, Hau can make out the figure of his wife, the Moon Goddess, waving to him down on Earth. 

Your Mid-Autumn Festival Journey

Mid-Autumn Festival is a celebration of family, a celebration for the bountiful harvest, and a celebration of the full moon. Come see what the full moon celebrations have to offer. Immerse yourself in the local holiday spirit, give thanks to the Moon Goddess, admire the dancing lions, and make wishes of your own as you release candle-lit lanterns down the Thu Bon River. In the meantime, take yourself on a whimsical journey to Hoi An’s Mid-Autumn Festival through our Twinkling Night mulberry silk collection.


Mulberry Silk