Night and Day: Tuesday, September 23, 2008
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You can get a paper lantern like this girlís at the Vietnames festival.
PHOTOS: 1
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Saigon After Summer


Night & Day does its best to track events that might appeal to our African-American and Latino readers, but we donít always do so well when it comes to our Vietnamese readers. Thatís why weíre so pleased this week to highlight the Arlington Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival. If youíre wondering why theyíre calling it a ďmid-autumnĒ festival when itís taking place closer to the equinox, thatís because it traditionally falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. Itís intended to celebrate the harvest and also the communityís children, who would typically be neglected by their parents while the harvest was going on.
In addition to all the ethnic festival standbys (food, traditional dance, music, costumes), the event put on by the Vietnamese Culture & Science Association of Dallas-Fort Worth will also have a demonstration of Vietnamese martial arts. Even though they lack the reputation of fighting styles from other Asian countries, Vietnam has a rich tradition of martial arts, including Vo Binh Dinh (emphasizing fighting opponents larger than oneself) and Vovinam, whose practitioners can perform astonishing flying kicks and leg holds.
If thatís too violent for you, the festival also features workshops on making lanterns out of paper or silk. For centuries, the country of Vietnam and especially the southern city of Hoi An were known all over the continent for their brightly colored hexagonal or spherical lanterns stretched over bamboo frames. Kids can even take one of these beautiful objects home for free, which is one reason why this all-day event will light up the city.

The Arlington Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival runs 10am-10pm in the parking lot of Saigon Taipei Supermarket, 2430 E Arlington Pkwy, Arlington. Admission is free. Call 214-455-2251.


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