party like the moon is full

On the 15th of August (according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar) Vietnamese celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival or, as my family calls it, "Moon Day." This is not, as my (real) dad jokingly asked me, a day when people go around mooning each other. It is a holiday that is mostly for children, although adults also participate. The main fesivities, as far as I can tell, involve wearing masks and glowing horns, eating "moon cakes" (possibly the worst dessert I have ever tried), watching circuses, buying toys, and looking at the moon. Although its origins are completely different, this holiday reminds me a lot of what Halloween has evolved into in the States, minus the ghosts.

About a week ago, Co Van (my VN mom) told me that Moon Day was coming up and that I should invite some friends over for a small party. So I invited some friends and looked forward to the festivities all week. The party did not disappoint. (sidenote: my mysterious fever did not deter Co Van from holding the party. This occurred in the short "I feel better" interlude between the onset of the fever and when it worsened and I was hospitalized. I was very worried that I would be miserable during the party, but actually had a good time, although I don't think I'll be eating spring rolls for awhile--if I can help it. Which means that I probably will be eating them.....)

First, we all sat down on the floor for a meal of bun (a certain type of noodle), fried spring rolls, fresh spring rolls, and...pizza. When we were sufficiently stuffed, we moved upstairs to the living room for fruit (especially the Asian form of grapefruit, which is very popular and whose name, when mispronounced only slightly, does NOT mean grapefruit), moon cakes, custard pudding, and tea. I was given the task of reading riddles and distributing masks as prizes to those who answered correctly. Unfortunatly, the riddles were very, very, very, very poorly translated from Vietnamese to English, and I couldn't understand them at all!

We also, in typical Vietnamese fashion, were forced to sing in front of everyone. Selections included Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, the Beatles, and the ABCs.

All in all, it was great fun. Like Halloween without the stress of deciding what to be and then digging around at Goodwill for the elusive costume elements, and then the fear that no one will recognize what you are supposed to be...
(Please note my mask in the picture below. I chose the most ridiculous one I could find, expressly for your viewing pleasure, and am only sad that I do not have a better picture of myself in it, because I am sure it is my look.)

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