Ideas for a Fun Mid-Autumn Festival Meal to Share with Your Children

Looking to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival 2021 in a way that honors its traditional Vietnamese customs? Then learn how to prepare a memorable and traditional feast for the occasion!


1The Significance of the Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival holds different meanings depending on individual beliefs. In Vietnamese customs, the festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the lunar month with families offering a tray of cakes and fruits to their ancestors as a gesture of respect. This occasion brings together family members to gather, converse, and enjoy a meal together, earning it the nickname “Reunion Festival.”

Reunion Mid-Autumn Festival

Moreover, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as the Children’s Festival. It provides an opportunity for children across Vietnam to come together, witness lion dances, break fast together, participate in lantern parades, and partake in various cultural activities to celebrate the festival. The iconic figures of Hang Nga and Chu Cuoi are synonymous with this celebration.

Mid-Autumn lantern parade

Furthermore, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a time for people to admire the moon and make predictions about the upcoming harvest and the nation’s destiny based on ancient beliefs. For example, a round, bright, and yellow moon signals a fruitful silk season, while a round, bright, and green (or blue) moon signifies the possibility of a natural disaster. On the other hand, a round, bright, and orange moon represents a prosperous country where people live comfortably and happily throughout the year.

2Proper Preparation of the Mid-Autumn Festival Tray

As mentioned earlier, the Mid-Autumn Festival is not just about communal gatherings and enjoyable activities but also an occasion to remember deceased loved ones and pay homage to ancestors. Therefore, the festival is incomplete without a properly arranged Mid-Autumn tray.

The Meaning of the Traditional Mid-Autumn Festival Tray

The contents displayed on the tray and regional customs determine the unique meaning of each Mid-Autumn Festival tray. However, their intention remains consistent in expressing reverence and filial piety towards ancestors.

Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival tray

The fruits showcased on the tray reflect the autumn season, with their selection based on shape, color, and arrangement to portray warmth, happiness, and well-wishes for the family.

Regardless of a family’s economic status, various traditional cakes are typically prepared for the ancestral altar during the full moon day.

Mid-Autumn Festival Tray in Vietnam

The Mid-Autumn Festival tray in Vietnam, as well as in other Southeast Asian countries, typically includes essential items, such as:


Mooncakes are an essential component of the tray. Common types of mooncakes today include baked and sticky rice mooncakes, usually round or square in shape. Additionally, there are cakes shaped like carp, dolphins, etc., designed according to personal preferences and symbolism. The patterns on the cake’s surface carry significant meanings, often featuring characters associated with happiness and fulfillment, with floral patterns being the most common.


Baked mooncakes have a golden brown outer layer, while sticky rice mooncakes come in various colors (pink, green, white) due to their glutinous rice base that can be mixed with natural coloring agents for visual appeal. Both types feature diverse fillings, such as roasted chicken, green beans, pandan leaves, mixed fillings, taro, salmon, and more.

Fruit Tray

Most families choose characteristic autumn fruits for the tray, as they are easily accessible and of good quality. Some families, however, prioritize shape and color, combining fruits with specific implied meanings, such as:

  • Pomelo: Symbolizes luck and peace for the family. The green peel represents freshness and purity, while the round shape signifies warmth, fullness, and abundance.
  • Crunchy persimmon: Its firm, round shape symbolizes similar meanings to the pomelo, with the addition of an orange and red peel for liveliness.
  • Banana: The shape of a bunch of bananas resembles a hand receiving blessings from the divine, expressing the host’s gratitude towards their ancestors.
  • Longan: The fruit’s twisted shape resembles a flying dragon, with the bright red and pink peel symbolizing luck and prosperity.
  • Dragon fruit: The twisted fruit shape resembles a flying dragon, with the bright red and pink outer peel symbolizing luck and prosperity.

Fruit Tray for Mid-Autumn Festival

Each fruit carries its unique shape and color, allowing for diverse combinations on the Mid-Autumn tray. Skillful sculpting further enhances the tray’s elegance and uniqueness.

Incense and Lanterns

Incense and lanterns are indispensable components of the Mid-Autumn Festival tray. The fragrance of incense invokes memories, while the lit lanterns add brightness to the ancestral tray, signifying respect and reverence.

Incense, lantern on the Mid-Autumn Festival tray

Traditional Lanterns

Traditional lanterns are favorite toys for children during the Mid-Autumn Festival. They also serve as decorative items on the tray, enhancing the festive atmosphere and uniqueness of the full moon night. Traditional lanterns come in various shapes and materials, showcasing the craftsperson’s creativity.

Traditional lanterns

3Beautiful and Unique Images of Mid-Autumn Festival Trays

A beautifully arranged Mid-Autumn Festival tray is a remarkable achievement for family members and promotes bonding as they prepare it together.

The Mid-Autumn Festival tray includes a variety of components such as cakes, lanterns, and fruits.

Mid-Autumn Festival tray with all the components such as cakes, lanterns, fruits,...

The tray often features an adorable pomelo dog.

There is often a pomelo dog that's very adorable on the tray

The Mid-Autumn Festival tray is meticulously and creatively decorated.

The Mid-Autumn Festival tray is carefully and creatively decorated

The Mid-Autumn Festival tray showcases various fragrant and sweet flowers.

The Mid-Autumn Festival tray is exquisite with a variety of fragrant and sweet flowers

The Mid-Autumn Festival tray conveys wishes for luck, prosperity, development, and peace.

The Mid-Autumn Festival tray conveys wishes for luck, prosperity, development, and peace

The Mid-Autumn Festival tray signifies growth, goodness, and luck.

The Mid-Autumn Festival tray carries wishes for growth, goodness, and luck

The Mid-Autumn Festival tray includes a variety of traditional baked cakes.

The Mid-Autumn Festival tray with a variety of traditional baked cakes

The information provided above aims to assist you in understanding the date of the Mid-Autumn Festival 2021 and the appropriate preparation of the Mid-Autumn tray.