The Mid-Autumn Festival for Poor Children

The Mid-Autumn Festival, or the Moon Festival is a special event for Vietnamese children. It is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Vietnamese lunar calendar. This year, using the weekend, the Catholic Student Group of Banking University (CSGBU) which is being accompanied by Vietnamese Jesuit scholastics organized this festival for Stieng ethnic children in Thong Nhat parish in Ban Me Thuot diocese.

Accomplishing this event well, each member had prepared for three months in advance including asking permission, making plans and fundraising.

To earn money for this plan, the students spent a lot of time and generosity. They gathered at the Saint Joseph Jesuit Scholasticate every weekend to make artificial flowers, rosary beads and holy statues. Seemingly, the process of raising funds was really difficult but meaningful and happy. Each member has studied the ways to manifest her/his compassion with the poor and one another. Moreover, everybody also endeavored to sell her/his products to laypersons, irrespective of being sunny or rainy, early morning or completely dark time. After a long time, the money earned was not very much, about one thousand dollars; however, all their activities have made their friendship and human affection to others fulfilled.

“Planting the fruit to pick fruit”, on solar Sept 30 and Oct 1, 57 members of CSGBU organized the Mid-Autumn Festival. Although it was raining, about 600 children gathered in Thong Nhat parish. They firstly participated in Mass together. Then, they were seen performing arts by the students and by themselves. Finally, all students gave them moon cakes and guided them in Moonlight lantern procession.

After the Mid-Autumn festival held, all students visited poor families in Bu To 1 to understand their lives and their culture. It was said that each member was touched very much by poorness there. Sharing experiences, each student has realized that she/he is really happy and lucky now. They would like to thank God for their present lives. They wish they will study more industriously to become true Christians in every situation.

Peter Duong Nguyen, S.J.