Visiting craft village of making traditional toys for Mid-autumn festival

Ong Hao village in Lien Xa commune, Yen My district, Hung Yen province is known as the capital of making traditional toys for the Mid-autumn festival.

Ong Hao village is known as the capital of making traditional toys for the Mid-autumn festival.
Ong Hao village is known as the capital of making traditional toys for the Mid-autumn festival.

As the Mid-autumn festival, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, is now less than one month away, Ong Hao villagers are busy making and providing traditional toys for cities and provinces across the country.

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Vu Huy Dong and his wife working on hundreds of paper masks. The old couple has nearly 40 years of work experience in this craft.

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Although it is not too difficult to make a paper mask, it requires a lot of skill and carefulness in every step.

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The masks should convey the soul of the characters. They are often presented in bright and lively colours to draw the interest of children.

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In the past, the craft paper masks often portrayed uncle Teu or the Earth Genie. But now it features a wider range of characters to meet the increasing demand of customers.

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Through his skilful hands, Dong turns idyllic materials such as bamboo, carton boxes, and even upcycled papers, into colourful masks in various shapes and topics.

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Ong Hao village is also well known for the craft of making wooden drums. At the workshop of Vu Duy Ninh, who has around four decades of working in this craft, Ninh and his employees are busy completing hundreds of wooden drums.

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Machines help to save a considerable amount of material and time.

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Drum barrels are painted in red.

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Hundreds of drums are waiting to be delivered to wholesale markets across cities and provinces.

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A paper mask is priced at 15,000 – 35,000 VND, while a wooden drum is sold between 14,000 to 80,000 VND depending on its size.

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The paper masks reflect Vietnamese people’s aspirations of happiness and prosperity. They are also imbued with traditional Vietnamese cultural identity.