Paper figures of doctoral laureates
During the Mid-Autumn season, markets, parties, and homes display paper figures of successful students at the highest royal administrative examination. This tradition relates to the tough selection of Confucian scholars for the king's administration.During Viet Nam's dynastic period, students who had completed ten years of study took part in the provincial examination (thi Huong), which were held every three years. Those who passed with high marks were called cử nhân, and those with lower marks were called tú tài. The Tu tai and those who failed had to wait for the next exam, whereas the Cu nhan continued their studies another three years to participate in the Metropolitan Examination (Thi Hoi). Those with high marks took part in the Highest Imperial Examination (Thi Dinh). Those who passed the thi Đình were called Doctoral Laureate (Tien Sy). Those who came in first were called Trang Nguyen ; those who came in second, Bang nhan ; and third, Tham hoa.
In preparation for Mid-Autumn Tet, many children make a "doctoral laurate" out of paper to express their hope of succeeding in their studies.