The village of traditional toys for Mid-Autumn festival has all kinds of masks, lion heads and drums…It is Hao village, 60km from the center fo Hanoi.
Hao village, Lieu Xa commune, Yen My, Hung Yen for a long time has been well-known for making the traditional toys for Mid-Autumn festival. Every Mid-Autumn festival, all villagers are eager to make toys for children. The familiar sounds of grinding, casting and drum testing are resounded in every corner of the village. From Hanoi, go along the National Highway No.5 to Pho Noi Town, you will go to Hao village. The main gate of the village is located on the National Highway No.39A among small markets. Go into the village, you will see many households drying the eye-catching red drums or the masks in many different shapes right on the road or in their yards.
The traditional toys of the village have been appeared since the late 80’s and early 90’s. Previously the village focused mainly on drums, now the village also develops toys such as star lamp and mask with the familiar design bearing bold national identity. These toys are made from natural materials such as bamboo, paper, cardboard…
The world of traditional toys
At the beginning of August every year, the craftmen here begin to saw the timber and make drum. The high quality finished products are put in the warehouse, just waiting for the festival.
On each Mid-Autumn festival, the traditional toys of Hao village have to be made in a great quantity to meet the needs of customers, because the quality of some imported toys are in danger of harm to the health of young children, so these traditional toys are the best choice for consumers. In recent years the product of the village has been improved and loved by many children.
To make an drum for Mid-Autumn festival, the manufacturers have to adhere to many steps from making the body drum to the drum surface. In Hao village, there are only 5 families preserving the traditional crafts. They do all steps to complete a drum. In additon, many other families only take part in some steps.
Nowadays, only few families preserve the traditional crafts therefore to keep the soul for the traditional toys for Mid-Atumn festival, the villagers have to work all the year in order to manufacture the sufficient quantity of goods.
The drums after finished will be painted red color and dried again before consuming. The yard has become more vibrant as the toys are sunbathing.
In addition to make drum, in recent years, thanks to grasp the market trend, many families has studied the method to make paper masks with many layers in the traditional ways and lion heads…It makes the types of goods become diverse.
Nearly 20 types of masks and lion heads in many different shapes and color are made by the hands of Hao villagers. Most of the workers become “painters” when painting, coloring on the product and children in the village are also trained in making traditional toys.
Making the traditional toys in Hao village not only creates the work and a stable income for local people, but also contributes to preserving the cultural folk beauty in Hung Yen province.
Each of the drum, the mask and the lamp is made of crystallization of sweat, effort, enthusiasm labor of the people here. Traditional folk toys from Hao village are spread all over the country to meet the market demand and create position in the folk cultural activities of the nation.
The traditional toys are not just for entertainment, they are also tools for educating, nurturing the younger generation, as a message, a silent and profound wish of his father to the generation. Young learners are fond of learning, encouraging learning and achievement.
Coming to Hao village, you can visit the houses of some large producers such as: Mrs Vu Thi Thoan, Mr Vu Huy Dong and Mrs Vu Thi Na. The tourists are warmly welcomed here as family members. Recently, the village has become a tourist destination for many young people who want to find the childhood.
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