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Hoi An Lantern Festival

The Symbol of Hoi An

On the 14th day of each lunar month Hoi An celebrates the full moon with a magical lantern festival.

Throughout the old town colourful silk, fabric and paper lanterns in plump pumpkin shapes or soft elongated tear drops hang from door ways and from tree branches, lighting the streets with a soft, warm glow and reflecting in the shimmering water of Thu Bon. Tiny floating lantern boats made of paper dot the river with light, each one carrying a wish for health and happiness.

These decorative lanterns arrived in Hoi An with Japanese and Chinese traders during the 16th and 17th centuries. They were quickly adopted by the local Vietnamese who associated their beauty with good fortune and love. Today they are a symbol of the old riverside town.

The full moon is traditionally a time for Vietnamese to pay tribute to their ancestors. However, in Hoi An it's also a time for colourful lanterns and cultural celebrations. Although only a festival since 1998, and initiated as a tourist attraction, the Lantern Festival showcases a centuries old craft that is symbolic of Hoi An.

Travel Tips: Trying the ancient art of lantern making


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