agoda.com, Asia’s leading hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq: PCLN), today announced special hotel deals in China and Vietnam in time for the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Also known as the Moon Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival originated in China around 3,000 years ago. On this day, people of all classes, from farmers to royalty, would observe and honor the full moon of the eighth lunar month.
This year, the holiday falls on September 30 and will be combined with National Day on October 1st to give Chinese nationals an eight-day break. As one of China's most important holiday periods, many take the opportunity to travel to their hometowns to spend time with family.
One of the Mid-Autumn Festival's essential elements is the moon cake. Sweet and dense, these round pastries are filled with lotus seed and red bean paste, and shared between friends, colleagues and family. Other traditional festival foods vary from region to region, and include pumpkin, river snails, duck, taro and fermented osmanthus flower wine.
On the evening of the Mid-Autumn Festival, families head outdoors to observe and enjoy the full moon, eating slices of mooncake and in many cases, releasing lanterns into the sky or floating them on lakes and rivers. Many people pray to the moon to bless them with a safe year.
Parks and temple grounds throughout China are decorated with lights and lanterns of myriad shapes and sizes. Popular lantern shapes are dragons, rabbits and lotus flowers, which illuminate parks, lakes and ponds. In Beijing, Marco Polo Bridge is a popular position for viewing the full moon, while the thousand-year-old Beihai Park stays open late for viewers to enjoy the lanterns and the moonlight.
In Shanghai, people gather at the Bund and Sheshan Park to stroll along the waterfront and appreciate the moon. Shanghai's Zhujiajiao Old Town is also a great place to take in the night sky – old wooden houses strung with lanterns create a picturesque and tranquil setting for sharing mooncakes and tea with loved ones.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is also a major holiday in Vietnam. An observance that derives from Vietnam's Chinese heritage, customs are similar, though not identical. In Vietnam, the festival is geared towards children and is also referred to as the Children's Festival. Troupes of young acrobats perform traditional lion dances and children everywhere make star-shaped lanterns. Vietnamese families also mark the occasion by eating moon cakes, though these are typically square rather than round.
Across Vietnam, children's lantern parades take place and lion and dragon dances are staged. Hotels in Hanoi, Saigon and Hoi An import mooncakes with special fillings, or have them specially made in-house. The historic streets of Hanoi's old quarter fill with markets selling all sorts of kid's festival items, including lanterns, drums, fairy wings and rabbit ears.
The Mid-Autumn Festival marks a major travel period in China and Vietnam, and hotels book out quickly. Agoda.com has secured special deals in some of these countries' major cities – to make the most of these offers, travelers should book a special deal today!
agoda.com Mid-Autumn Festival Hotel Specials for China and Vietnam!
China (For the complete deals, visit www.agoda.com/ChinaMidAutumn)
Pacific Hotel, Shanghai 4* - 40% discount!
From USD 77 per night.
SSAW, Shanghai 4* - 40% discount!
From USD 74 per night.
Fairmont Beijing Hotel, Beijing 5* - 50% discount!
From USD 182 per night.
Jianguo Hotel, Beijing 4*- 40% discount!
From USD 107 per night.
Jovenstar Hotel, Guangzhou 4* - 50% discount!
From USD 35 per night.
Hanoi Horison 5* - 20% discount
From USD 68 per night.
Asian Ruby Hanoi Hotel 3* - 20% discount
From USD 35 per night.
Windsor Plaza Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City 5* - 35% discount
from USD 78 per night, early bird 7 days.
Hoi An Hotel 4* - Free night!
From USD 63 per night. Stay 3 nights, get 1 night free. Minimum stay 3 nights.
Vinh Hung Riverside Resort, Hoi An 4* - 15% discount
From USD58 per night. Minimum stay 3 nights.