Hanoi’s old quarter overrun by vacation crowds for Mid-Autumn Festival

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With the Mid-Autumn Festival peaking, people have been flooding into Hanoi’s Old Quarter to shop, take photos and enjoy the festive ambience.

These days, Hang Ma Street, one of the busiest areas in the capital specializing in trading children’s toys, paper goods and paper votive offerings, turned into a traditional market during the Mid-Autumn season.The street, which has exister for hundreds of years and a hidden gem of Hanoi normally sells paper votive offerings and home decorations but one month before the festival, it has transformed into a busy shopping area with almost houses and sidewalks turned into makeshift shops, providing star-shaped lanterns, revolving lanterns, and paper masks of animals and fairy tales characters for the childrens favorite festival.For many Vietnamese, the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on September 13 this year, is the second most important festival after the Lunar New Year.  The Mid-Autumn festival dates back to the Rice Civilization of the Red River delta, over 4,000 years ago.

These days Hang Ma Street, which normally sells paper votive offerings and home decorations, has transformed into a busy shopping area with most houses and sidewalks turning into makeshift shops selling star-shaped lanterns and paper masks of animals and fairy-tale characters.

For many Vietnamese, the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on September 13 this year, is the second most important festival after the Lunar New Year.

A little girl looks at the crowd around her, sitting on her father’s shoulders.It takes around 50 minutes to stroll around the 350-meter-long Hang Ma Street in the stream of people moving step by step.

A little girl looks at the crowd from atop her father’s shoulders. It takes around 50 minutes to stroll around the 350-meter-long Hang Ma Street amid the slow moving stream of people.

A woman sells traditional toys such as star-shaped lanterns, paper masks, small drums, and lion heads on Hang Ma Street. Made-in-Vietnam toys dominate the market this year, a trend that has overtaken the sale of imported Chinese products which could be seen in previous years. 

A woman sells traditional toys such as star-shaped lanterns, paper masks, small drums, and lion heads on Hang Ma Street. Locally made toys dominate the market this year unlike in previous years when imported Chinese products were everywhere.

The street was crowded and narrow, many people could not stand the heat, so they stopped buying portable electric fans to cool down.

The street is crowded and narrow and too hot for many people, who buy portable fans to cool down.

Small-sized star lanterns sell like a hot cake, my family consumes hundreds of lanterns each day, said Nguyen Huan, a local shop owner.

Nguyen Huan, a local shop owner, said: “Small-sized star lanterns sell like hot cakes, my family sells hundreds each day.”

Authorities have banned vehicles from certain streets in Hanois Old Quarter until September 13 for the festival celebrations. They are not allowed to enter Hang Luoc, Hang Ruoi and Hang Chai streets and sections of Hang Ma and Hang Khoai streets from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.The Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the most traditional and popular family holidays in Vietnam, is enjoyed by people throughout the country, regardless of their background or economic status.The festival is an occasion for a children’s night out and family reunions. Children enjoy art performances like singing, plays and lion dances, light up the night with colorful lanterns and enjoy mooncakes.

Authorities have banned vehicles from certain streets in the Old Quarter until September 13. They are not allowed to enter Hang Luoc, Hang Ruoi and Hang Chai streets and sections of Hang Ma and Hang Khoai streets from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the most traditional and popular family holidays in Vietnam, is enjoyed by people throughout the country, regardless of their background or economic status.

It is an occasion for a children’s night out and family reunions. Children enjoy art performances like singing, plays and lion dances, light up the night with colorful lanterns and enjoy mooncakes.

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