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October 13th 2009
Published: October 13th 2009
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The Mid-Autumn FestivalThe Mid-Autumn FestivalThe Mid-Autumn Festival

A street vendor in Hanoi's Old Quarter with traditional star-shaped lanterns for the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Fortunately, I have survived the hottest summer with pimples all over my face. Now autumn is the favorite season for me and all Hanoians. The weather from September to December is always very pleasant. The sun shines during the day and it's cool at night. Due to the El Nino, it's warmer this year. Some days the temperature in Hanoi reaches 32°C, while often it's only 16-25°C. Autumn also is an aspiration for many interesting songs about Hanoi, especially when the musicians, who composed the songs, live far away from the city and they miss the special atmosphere here.

There were 4 events in this autumn. First, we celebrated the Independence Day. On 2 September 1945, President Hồ Chí Minh declared the independence of Vietnam on Ba Đình square in Hanoi, after the August Revolution (19 August 1945) against the Japanese fascists was successful. However, the French troops returned and the national resistance war against them lasted 9 years (from December 1946 to May 1954). The Independence Day celebration was quiet this year, since it was the 64th anniversary. Next year on the 65th anniversary there will be fireworks in Hanoi as well as other cities of Vietnam.

Little lion headsLittle lion headsLittle lion heads

These lion heads are used for the parade on the 15th of August based on the lunar calendar (full moon party).
second event was the Mid-Autumn Festival (full moon party) on 3 October (it means the 15th of August based on our lunar calendar). Hàng Mã street in Hanoi's Old Quarter is the place where all the things relating to the festival are sold, for example, traditional lanterns, toys, little lion heads for the childrens' parade. I went to the market in this area for taking photos on 3 October. It is sad that the traditional toys are getting less and less attention every year. When I was a little girl, all the things that were sold in this market were Vietnamese hand-made products. Now 80% of the products are made in China and only 20% of the things on sale in this market are the traditional Vietnamese ones. Children and teenagers seem to be more interested in colorful masks for the carnival or Chinese toys with battery. Anyway, I still could find some traditional toys like the hand-made boats with Vietnam's flags, traditional lanterns, drums, little lion heads and masks to take photos for this blog, even though they made up the minority in the market. For more information about the Mid-Autumn Festival, please also view my blog published last
Along streets in HanoiAlong streets in HanoiAlong streets in Hanoi

The words on the red banner mean "The Mid-Autumn Festival 2009 in the Old Quarter".
year: The Mid-Autumn Festival 2008 with explanations about the traditional customs and photos of the Vietnamese lanterns, toys, a dog made of grapefruits, moon cakes etc.

The third event was the 55th anniversary of Hanoi's Liberation Day on 10 October. You may remember my blog about the French war: Where the French war ended. The French troops were defeated in Điện Biên Phủ battlefield and a few months later Hanoi capital was liberated. At 16:00 on 9 October 1954, the final French soldiers left Long Biên bridge in Hanoi. Next day, 10 October 1954, the Vietnamese soldiers came into the city from different directions and 20,000 Hanoians with happiness greeted them.

The last event, 10 October this year also was the 999th anniversary of Hanoi city. In a year, Hanoi will celebrate the Millennium Year (or the 1,000th anniversary). From now on, there will be many activities for celebrating this important event.

Last weekend (10 & 11 October), a festival named "Memoirs of Long Biên Bridge" attracted thousands of Vietnamese and foreign tourists in Hanoi. Long Biên bridge across the Red River was built from 1899 to 1902 by the French architect Gustave Eiffel (same designer of the Eiffel tower in Paris). Before Vietnam's
Drums for the Mid-Autumn FestivalDrums for the Mid-Autumn FestivalDrums for the Mid-Autumn Festival

The young boy is beating a drum while selling drums at the market in Hanoi's Old Quarter. The sound of his drum makes the atmosphere of the Mid-Autumn Festival exciting.
independence in 1954, it was called Doumer Bridge (Doumer was the Governor-General of French Indochina and then French president). At that time, it was one of the longest bridges in Asia with the length of 2,500m. In 1945, after the August Revolution, the bridge was renamed to "Long Biên" which is the name of a small village at the foot of the bridge. During the American war, the bridge was heavily bombarded. At present, train, motorbikes and bicycles as well as pedestrians use the bridge.

Because of the festival, traffic on the bridge was blocked for a couple of days. I spent 3 hours walking along the bridge, remembering the past historical events that happened at this place and memories of my childhood. I used to live near this bridge and my parents carried me with their old bicycles along it and another floating bridge. There were black and white photos of Hanoi and the bridge, which were taken by the French, and paintings of Vietnamese artists were displayed along both sides of the bridge. Anyone can write on the white banners placed along the bridge and most of the messages and poems shared the same love for Hanoi.
These masks for the Mid-Autumn FestivalThese masks for the Mid-Autumn FestivalThese masks for the Mid-Autumn Festival

These masks are sold on Hàng Mã street in Hanoi's Old Quarter. Children and young people love to wear them during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
At a section (perhaps half way), there were 60 flags of different countries and I walked down stairs to visit an area, which is formed by deposits of sand of the Red River. The locals plant corn there and they sold water, corn etc to us (pedestrians walking on the bridge). I changed to another side of the bridge following the stairs. Some famous songs of Hanoi, as well as the voices of President Hồ Chí Minh and the girl who warned Hanoians of the American bombers approaching Hanoi in the 1960s and 1970s from a loud speaker made the atmosphere so exciting. I also watched two trains running on the bridge. Everyone was ready for their photos with cameras in hand, when they heard the sound of the trains coming.

Under the bridge on Hanoi's inner side there was a stage, which was set up for the live show on TV with musical and dance performed by the young people. They wore clothes of the Vietnamese soldiers during the French war. At 6:30pm I stood at the motorbike parking site and ready to go home, suddenly the fireworks over the bridge started, so I enjoyed watching them. Unfortunately,
The Independence DayThe Independence DayThe Independence Day

On 2 September 1945, President Hồ Chí Minh declared the independence of Vietnam. However, in December 1946, the French returned to attack Hanoi and the French war only ended in May 1954. This shot was taken by Hoàn Kiếm lake in Hanoi's center.
the place where I stood was near the fireworks and something, which was hot, got into my right eye, although I wore glasses. My eye was really sore for the next 30 minutes.

Another stage with models of tube houses in the Old Quarter and dragon was also set up at Lý Thái Tổ park opposite Hoàn Kiếm lake in Hanoi's center. At this place on 10 October the ceremony for announcement of the tourism year 2010 was held. Every year a city/province in Vietnam is chosen as the destination of the year. In 2009 it is Cần Thơ in the Mekong Delta and next year it will be Hanoi on the occasion of the Millennium Year.

The photos in this blog are arranged in order of the events: the Independence Day (2/9) => the Mid-Autumn Festival (3/10) => Festival "Memoirs of Long Biên Bridge" (10/10) => Hanoi's Liberation Day celebration (10/10) at Lý Thái Tổ park in Hanoi's center.

Hà Nội mùa thu năm 2009

Mùa thu là mùa thích nhất trong năm ở Hà Nội. Một phần vì thời tiết mát mẻ và dễ chịu, một phần vì có một món ăn ngon đặc
One of the traditional toysOne of the traditional toysOne of the traditional toys

These hand-made boats with Vietnam's flags are one of the traditional toys during the Mid-Autumn Festival. They are sold on Hàng Mã street in Hanoi's Old Quarter every autumn. A boat often costs VND 60,000 (US$3.5). It can cruise on the water (basins).
trưng của Hà Nội là "cốm" (nổi tiếng nhất là ở Làng Vòng), phần nữa vì có rất nhiều các sự kiện lịch sử được tổ chức vào thời gian này. Ngày 19/8 là ngày kỷ niệm Cách mạng tháng 8 chống phát xít Nhật, ngày 2/9 là ngày Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh đọc Tuyên ngôn độc lập khai sinh ra nước Việt Nam Dân chủ Cộng hoà. Tết Trung thu cũng vào khoảng thời gian từ giữa tháng 9 đến giữa tháng 10 với không khí rộn ràng của tiếng trống múa sư tử, của bánh trung thu, của trẻ nhỏ háo hức đi rước đèn và phá cỗ đêm trăng rằm. Ngày 10/10 năm nay thì đặc biệt hơn vì Hà Nội kỷ niệm 55 năm Ngày giải phóng thủ đô và 999 năm Thăng Long - Hà Nội.

Tôi dành 3 tiếng đồng hồ chiều ngày 10/10 đi bộ trên Cầu Long Biên. Có rất nhiều các hoạt động trong thời gian diễn ra Lễ hội "Ký ức cầu Long Biên" vào hai ngày 10 và 11/10, như triển lãm ảnh, đốt pháo bông, biểu diễn văn nghệ v.v. Đây là chương trình văn hóa
Little chicken/bird shaped balloonsLittle chicken/bird shaped balloonsLittle chicken/bird shaped balloons

Many people want to buy these lovely chicken/bird shaped balloons at the market in Hanoi's Old Quarter. This market only works during the Mid-Autumn Festival and it's very crowded there.
nghệ thuật lớn nhất trong năm của Hà Nội để kỷ niệm 55 năm ngày Giải phóng thủ đô và có khoảng 50.000 người Việt Nam và khách quốc tế tham gia các lễ hội của Hà Nội. Dọc hai bên thành cầu là những tấm vải màu trắng, trên đó có các bài thơ về Cầu Long Biên và bất cứ ai cũng có thể viết một điều gì đó về Hà Nội và về Cầu Long Biên. Mọi thông điệp đều hướng tới một điểm chung là tình yêu mà mọi người dành cho thủ đô. Đây là một bài thơ mà tôi nhìn thấy trên Cầu Long Biên. Bài thơ có tên "Nhịp sóng mắt xưa" với chỉ vài câu: "Tôi - người lính già lại về tìm em. Trên nhịp Cầu Long Biên toả bóng. Đôi mắt xưa còn vương đâu đây. Trong đêm gió lộng, bóng thuyền trôi trên sông Hồng cuộn sóng. Làn mây bay, bồng bềnh, ký ức phố dài".

Triển lãm "Ký ức Cầu Long Biên" trưng bày hơn 100 tác phẩm, bao gồm ảnh đen trắng chụp thời Pháp thuộc và các bức hoạ cũng như ảnh chụp của các
"Đèn kéo quân""Đèn kéo quân""Đèn kéo quân"

This is one of the traditional lanterns for the Mid-Autumn Festival. It spins around when a candle is placed inside it and we can view the pictures in the light.
hoạ sỹ và nhiếp ảnh gia. Khi đi đến đoạn có hơn 60 lá cờ của các quốc gia, tôi đi xuống cầu thang, ghé thăm bãi ngô trên sông Hồng rồi chuyển sang cầu thang lên cầu ở phía bên kia cầu. Những bài hát về Hà Nội, những câu nói của Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh, giọng nói của một cô gái và tiếng báo động "Đồng bào chú ý! Máy bay địch cách Hà Nội 50km" thời những năm chiến tranh chống Mỹ phát ra từ chiếc loa trên cầu làm cho bầu không khí thật sôi động mà vẫn lắng đọng. Thỉnh thoảng lại có một chiếc tàu hoả đi trên đường ray và mọi người đều sẵn sàng chụp ảnh. Vào lúc 6 giờ rưỡi tối thì có chương trình ca nhạc ở sân khấu dưới chân cầu và bắn pháo bông. Tôi đứng ở bãi để xe gần nơi đốt pháo bông để chuẩn bị về nhà. Một hạt bụi pháo bông rất nóng bay vào mắt phải mặc dù tôi đã đeo kính và mắt tôi bị xót trong suốt 30 phút sau đó.

Vườn hoa Lý Thái Tổ đối diện Hồ
Little lion heads and drumsLittle lion heads and drumsLittle lion heads and drums

A girl is sitting in front of her shop in Hanoi's Old Quarter. She sells little lion heads and drums as well as other toys for the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Hoàn Kiếm cũng là nơi diễn ra những sự kiện quan trọng. Một sân khấu lớn cùng với mô hình Khuê Văn Các và 4 ngôi nhà cổ lô nhô, mái ngói rêu phong dựng bằng gỗ và xốp để các nghệ sỹ hát ca trù biểu diễn, cũng như một chiếc thuyền rồng bề thế cũng là tầng 2 của sân khấu ở ngay đằng sau tượng vua Lý Thái Tổ. Xung quanh khu vực này là một dãy tường thành có cổng vào gợi nhớ một Hà Nội xưa. Tại đây vào tối 10/10 đã diễn ra lễ kỷ niệm quy mô lớn nhất từ trước đến nay. Ký ức Hà Nội xưa với mái ngói rêu phong, gánh hàng hoa, chọi gà, hát ca trù và giai nhân áo dài... được tái hiện sinh động. Đây cũng là dịp công bố Năm du lịch quốc gia và điểm đến của Việt Nam trong năm 2010 sẽ là Hà Nội.

Các bức ảnh trong Blog này được sắp xếp theo thứ tự các sự kiện: Ngày Quốc khánh (2/9) => Ngày Tết Trung thu (3/10) chụp tại phố Hàng Mã => Lễ hội "Ký ức Cầu Long
Star-shaped lanternStar-shaped lanternStar-shaped lantern

This is the traditional lantern during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Childen often parade with this type of lantern during the full moon party.
Biên" (10/10) trên Cầu Long Biên => Vuờn hoa Lý Thái Tổ đối diện Hồ Hoàn Kiếm (10/10).

Additional photos below
Photos: 40, Displayed: 31


A propaganda outside Thống Nhất parkA propaganda outside Thống Nhất park
A propaganda outside Thống Nhất park

Propaganda of the 55th anniversary of Hanoi's Liberation Day.
"Tò He" - one of the traditional toys "Tò He" - one of the traditional toys
"Tò He" - one of the traditional toys

At Lý Thái Tổ park in Hanoi's center, on 10 Oct 2009 (Hanoi's Liberation Day celebration), this man was making "Tò He" toys (rice flour figurines) from colorful dough. They can be animals, flowers or even a Superman.
At Lý Thái Tổ park in HanoiAt Lý Thái Tổ park in Hanoi
At Lý Thái Tổ park in Hanoi

Statue of King Lý Thái Tổ (who chose Hanoi as the capital in 1010) and model of the dragon (made of steel frame and plywood) for the 55th anniversary of Hanoi's Liberation Day.
At Lý Thái Tổ park in HanoiAt Lý Thái Tổ park in Hanoi
At Lý Thái Tổ park in Hanoi

A model of 4 tube houses in Hanoi's Old Quarter was set up at the park. These houses are made of plywood and one of them was used as a stage for "Ca trù" singers on the live show on TV (10 Oct).
Long Biên bridge during the festivalLong Biên bridge during the festival
Long Biên bridge during the festival

In this photo you can see the years when the bridge was built. 1945, 1954 and 1975 were the important years in Vietnam's history and the notes were pasted on the bridge during the Festival "Memoirs of Long Biên Bridge".
Long Biên bridge during the festivalLong Biên bridge during the festival
Long Biên bridge during the festival

This bridge was built by the French during 1899-1902 and its old name was Doumer Bridge. At that time, it was one of the longest bridges in Asia. During the festival this year (10 and 11 October), the bridge was decorated with a yellow shaped paper dragon. At night it looks great with the light.
A stage under Long Biên bridgeA stage under Long Biên bridge
A stage under Long Biên bridge

These young people are practicing a dance on the stage under the bridge on 10 October (Hanoi's Liberation Day). The practice is for the live show on TV in the evening. The boys wear soldiers clothes and a girl is standing on the back of a boy.
Paintings of Long Biên bridgePaintings of Long Biên bridge
Paintings of Long Biên bridge

Paintings of the bridge are placed along the bridge during the festival.
B&W photo of Hanoi's Old QuarterB&W photo of Hanoi's Old Quarter
B&W photo of Hanoi's Old Quarter

A photo of Hanoi's Old Quarter with tube houses taken by the French.

13th October 2009

Thanks for a very interesting blog. Vietnam has such a fascinating history.
13th October 2009

Nice pictures, interesting description.
13th October 2009

Festival is the most enjoyable event that gifts our memory for ever. Thanks for your blog for me to recall my homeland festivals at my childhood.
15th October 2009

I remember you now
Read one of your blogs and you came back into my memory. Look forward to meeting you. Kent

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