THE LEGEND OF MR. CUOI
In Vietnamese folklore, there’s a tale of Cuoi, who, in a fierce battle with a tiger, stumbled upon a miraculous plant capable of reviving the dead. Motivated by compassion, Cuoi cultivated this precious herb to heal his ailing wife and fellow villagers. However, one fateful day, his wife, in a moment of forgetfulness, inadvertently caused the magical tree and Cuoi himself to soar into the sky. Thus, Cuoi found himself on the moon, forever tending to the invaluable tree.
Since that time, every full moon, when the night sky is aglow with the moon’s radiant brilliance, people gazing skyward can spot a silhouette resembling an ancient tree, with someone seated beneath it. It’s believed to be none other than Mr. Cuoi, patiently awaiting the day he can return to Earth.
In the hearts of all, the full moon of August signifies the descent of Hang Nga and Cuoi to Earth for a joyous reunion. During the Mid-Autumn Festival, the young ones revel in vibrant activities like lion dances and lantern parades. Each family arranges an altar in their courtyard to pay respects, then gathers to marvel at the moon and share in a delightful feast together. This time-honored tradition embodies the enduring spirit of unity, celebration, and the magical allure of the Mid-Autumn Festival.
THE LEGEND OF HANG NGA
Hang Nga, also known as Ms. Hang, is a renowned figure in the rich tapestry of mythological tales spanning China, Vietnam, and Japan. According to legend, Hang Nga was described as a woman of captivating beauty, the beloved wife of Hau Nghe, a heroic figure renowned for his feat of shooting down nine suns to aid his people.
As the story goes, Hang Nga’s destiny took a celestial turn when she received the elixir of immortality from the Western Queen Mother. However, the elixir’s potency was so great that it propelled her into the heavens, where she found her new abode on the moon.
Ever since this enchanting tale unfolded, the tradition of moon-gazing during the Mid-Autumn Festival has endured through generations. It is believed that by gazing at the moon, people pay homage to the benevolent Hang Nga, beseeching her for good fortune and a tranquil existence.
This timeless legend serves as a testament to the enduring power of storytelling and the profound cultural significance of the Mid-Autumn Festival, where the moon becomes a symbol of hope, luck, and the eternal beauty of Hang Nga.