Hoi An Lantern Festival: Experience the Magical Lights

Hoi An Lantern Festival

When it comes to Hoi An, people immediately think of the shimmering ancient streets adorned with colorful lanterns. The Hoi An Lantern Festival has long become a prominent and distinctive feature of this place that every visitor eagerly anticipates experiencing when they have the opportunity to set foot here.

The Origin of the Hoi An Lantern Festival

Hoi An Lantern Festival

During the 16th and 17th centuries, Hoi An was one of the busiest trading ports in Southeast Asia. It served as a significant destination for numerous merchants from around the world, especially Chinese and Japanese traders. They came here for business exchanges and establishing their careers, while also bringing lanterns to hang in front of their houses. Over time, the local residents began to follow suit and started hanging lanterns in front of their homes to seek good luck.

This cultural influence is still maintained today. In 1988, the local authorities decided to organize the lantern festival on the occasion of the monthly full moon. The festival, known as the Hoi An Full Moon Lantern Festival or the Lantern Festival, has become one of the most distinctive events in Hoi An, attracting the attention of numerous domestic and international tourists. Every 14th day of the lunar month, the ancient town of Hoi An becomes splendid and vibrant with lanterns and exciting activities.

The Duration of the Lantern Festival in Hoi An

Hoi An Lantern Festival

The Hoi An Lantern Festival takes place on the 14th day of the lunar month, and the most spectacular celebration occurs during the Mid-Autumn Festival. During the festival, all transportation is halted, and the town’s houses, shops, and eateries turn off their electric lights.

Hoi An locals hang lanterns of various colors in front of their homes, creating a mesmerizing and enchanting scene with shades of red, blue, and yellow adorning the narrow, charming streets.

The beauty of the ancient town is accentuated by moss-covered roofs and meandering streets that exude an ethereal charm under the moonlight. Despite the absence of electric lights, the atmosphere remains warm and cozy without any sense of suffocation. Every visitor who comes here can feel a profound sense of tranquility, as if stepping into the nostalgic setting of old Hoi An.

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The Fascinating Aspects of the Hoi An Lantern Festival

Enjoying Art Performances

Hoi An Lantern Festival

The festival usually starts around dusk, at around 6 PM, and lasts until around 10 PM. The riverside area between the Japanese Bridge and Hoi An Bridge is the liveliest spot. Here, numerous exciting activities are organized, completely free of charge. The atmosphere is vibrant with music and traditional dance performances, martial arts demonstrations, lion dances, and more, performed by dancers and artists.

If you visit Hoi An during the Lunar New Year (Tet), you will have the opportunity to participate in the lantern decoration and artistic fireworks competitions. If you come during the Mid-Autumn Festival, you can experience the display of festive food trays. Additionally, there are fascinating traditional games such as bai choi, Chinese chess, and tug-of-war that take place.

Releasing Floating Lanterns on the Hoai River

Hoi An Lantern Festival

One of the fascinating activities that attracts the participation of numerous tourists is releasing lanterns on the Hoai River. These meticulously handcrafted floating lanterns are symbolic of love and good luck, created by skilled artisans in the ancient town. You can purchase these lanterns at a very affordable price, ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 VND per piece, available for sale along the riverbank.

The illuminated lanterns create sparkling reflections on the surface of the river, forming shimmering spots of light. The people of Hoi An believe that lighting and releasing these lanterns bring luck and happiness to their families and loved ones.

Indulging in the Exquisite Cuisine of Hoi An

Hoi An Lantern Festival

It would be a miss to participate in the Hoi An Lantern Festival without experiencing the unique cuisine of this place. The renowned dish, Mi Quang, made with noodles, pork, chicken, and vegetables, is a must-try.

Next, you should indulge in dishes like Com Ga (chicken rice) and Banh Vac (shrimp dumplings made with local shrimp, garlic, spring onions, lemongrass, and spices). When exploring the town, don’t forget to sample famous street food dishes like Cao Lau and Banh Mi Hoi An. All of these dishes are reasonably priced, so you can enjoy them without worrying about your budget.

Important Notes When Participating in the Lantern Festival

+ The largest Lantern Festival in Hoi An takes place during the full moon of the Lunar January. It is advisable to plan your visit during this time to fully enjoy the festival.

+ Arrive early to secure the best viewing spot by the river, as the festival attracts a large number of visitors.

+ Bring a good camera or photography equipment to capture the beautiful moments of the night.

+ Wear comfortable shoes as vehicles are prohibited in the festival area, and you may need to do a lot of walking.

The Hoi An Lantern Festival is filled with shimmering lights and a variety of lantern shapes and colors. Visiting this place will provide you with unforgettable experiences. So, why wait any longer? Start planning your trip to Hoi An now!