Vietnamese Full Moon Celebration Planned

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Santiago High School’s cafeteria will be transformed into a Vietnamese village tonight when hundreds of invited guests gather to celebrate the traditional Vietnamese Full Moon Festival.

Celebrating the autumn full moon and farmers’ hopes for a prosperous harvest, festivals will take place in churches, temples and parks throughout Orange County all weekend with parades of candle-lit lanterns, cultural music and songs, and the traditional lion dance.

Phat Phu Nghiem, executive director of the Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Assn., said Full Moon Festival celebrations in Vietnam are nearly as popular as those thrown for Tet.


“In Vietnam, autumn is a season for rest for the people working in the fields after planting,” Nghiem explained. The full moon celebration, held the 15th day of the eighth month on the lunar calendar, is a time for villagers to celebrate the end of planting and their hope for a good harvest.

In an effort to bring the Vietnamese tradition to those living in Orange County, VAALA will hold its first-ever Full Moon Festival tonight from 7 to 10 p.m. in Santiago High School, 12342 Trask Ave. in Garden Grove. The event is open to parents and children who attend the Vietnamese Language School every Sunday on the Santiago campus.

“The Full Moon Festival is just like Halloween in America,” Nghiem said. “It is for Vietnamese and Chinese children, and is a very typical cultural event.”