Vietnam Autumn Festival with a Cause

Autumn Festival with a Cause: Plastic Bottles in Exchange for Lanterns!


On the afternoon of September 28, the Vietnam Youth Union of Ben Tre province organized a program for people to exchange plastic bottles for lanterns. More than 100 lanterns were made by the hands of the members of Ben Tre province in a day ranging from different sizes, shapes, and colors. These lanterns have captured the eyes of children in the area during the opening of the mid-autumn festival due to its unique and strange design.

The young people from the Ben Tre province took advantage of used cans of soft drinks, beer and even water bottles to make the lanterns. The funds they gather from the lanterns are then used to support poor children. 

On one occasion, Doan Thanh Xuan, 17 years old, had to carry a bag of plastic bottles to the stall in exchange for a lantern for her sister. Thanh Xuan said: “Earlier, my sister said she wanted a lantern”, then I searched in the warehouse to collect all the plastic bottles to bring here to exchange.

Doan Thanh Xuan (white shirt), and his sister eagerly exchanged plastic bottles for lanterns.

“I find this activity very meaningful. Seeming to be both economical and help protect the environment”, Thanh Xuan said.

Four years as a member of the Youth Union, Ms Tran Thi Ngoc Thoai, 29 years old, working in Vietnam Youth Union, said: “When I was a child, every Mid-Autumn Festival, I was very excited, I took a can of soda and I cut it. It would usually rain on the mid-autumn night (the night when children go out to play with their lanterns), but we had to wait for it to stop and then go to the neighbors’ houses. Boys often follow the girls to blow out the candles, it was super fun.”

Mr Phan Thanh Tre, Vice Chairman of Vietnam Youth Union of Ben Tre province, said: “Initially, I required 500 grams of new plastic bottles for an exchange, but when the children brought 1 or 2 bottles, I also gave them lanterns. These plastic bottles will be sold then donated for less fortunate children in the local hospital ”.

On another side, this mid-autumn season, the young members of District 10 Youth Union, Ho Chi Minh City, took advantage of skewers and colored paper to make nearly 20 lanterns for local children in need.

Dang Yen Nhu, Secretary of the Youth Union said: “The team chose the lanterns which spin around when a candle is placed inside, because they wanted the children to recall the history as well as educate their patriotism. At the same time encourage you to protect the environment, make use of recyclables “.

She added: “For the bamboo, we should use skewers (easy to buy at grocery stores with very cheap prices), for the paper we should use hard paper, and use a glue gun to shape them. During the process, I learned a lot about how to make lanterns. And thanks to such occasions, everyone shared funny stories after many hours of stressful work and study.”

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