Hoi An Lantern Festival which is also known as Hoi An Full Moon Festival is a monthly traditional event in Hoi An (Hội An). Many tourists and visitors from Vietnam and many countries in the world like to visit Hoi An and want to learn more about Hoi An Lantern Festival in Vietnam if they have a chance. Hoi An is an ancient town with good tailors, delicious food, and beautiful landscapes that attract not only domestic visitors but also tourists from all over the world. Furthermore, Hoi An is a paradise of the colorful lanterns with different sizes, shapes, and kinds. Hoi An Lantern Festival is the time you can see these colorful lanterns and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
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Hoi An Lantern Festival – The Full Moon Festival In Vietnam
As the monthly event to celebrate the full moon, the Hoi An Lantern Festival is celebrated on the 14th day of the lunar calendar. According to the Buddhist, the full moon is considered to be sacred as Buddha was born at the time of the full moon and he attained enlightenment on a day of the full moon. For centuries, Buddhists consider the full moon night as the time when the transformation occurs.
Today, Asian people see the full moon in a different way as it is a time to observe rituals, meditate, appreciate the life, and worship the ancestors. This meaning and purposes of the Hoi An Lantern Festival are indicated by the offerings of a family shrine, the lighting of candles, and the burning of incense. These traditions have become the typical and special features of the popular Hoi An Lantern Festival in Vietnam.
The Origins And History Of The Hoi An Lantern Festival
Vietnam’s tradition is related strongly with Buddhism; therefore, the full moon day is also of the most significant times in the lunar month. Hoi An has a well-built history of lanterns that start to develop during the 16th and 17th centuries when Hoi An was an important trading post. Hoi An attracted the large flow of merchants from the world, including Japanese who hang the colorful lanterns in various shapes in front of their homes with the hope of receiving good luck.
Japanese merchants came and brought with them this special culture, which has influenced Hoi An since those times. In 1998, lanterns are combined with the monthly full moon event to become the popular Hoi An Lantern Festival. The Hoi An Lantern Festival is one of the reasons why Vietnamese visitors and international tourists have come to Hoi An each month to explore the beauty of this beautiful city and take part in the celebrations.
Where Is The Hoi An Lantern Festival Held
The Full Moon Festival is held in many parts of Vietnam but the town of Hoi An is listed by the UNESCO as the most popular place for visitors and tourists to come and participate in the monthly festival because of the dedicated lanterns.
If you go to Hoi An and want to enjoy The Full Moon Festival or the Hoi An Lantern Festival, the best place you should come is the area between the Cau An Hoi (Cầu An Hội) Bridge and the Japanese Covered Bridge. Here, you will have a chance to admire the beautiful and romantic scene of lanterns released and flowing on the river with lights brightening the surrounding buildings.
Things To Do At Hoi An Lantern Festival
During the Hoi An Lantern Festival, the old town of Hoi An is brightened with lights and the traffic is motorized. Hoi An is beautiful in front of the eyes of locals, tourists, and visitors with flickering candlelight, hoards of visitors and multi-colored lanterns. So, if you visit the town of Hoi An at Hoi An Lantern Festival, which activities can you enjoy? In the article about Hoi An Lantern Festival Guide, I would like to introduce the best things to do at Hoi An Lantern Festival.
1. Take A Sampan Ride
Releasing colorful lanterns on Hoai River (sông Hoài) is one of the meaningful and interesting activities at Hoi An Lantern Festival. That activity is said to bring love and fortune.
Taking a sampan ride is recommended if you want to release your own lantern on the river while enjoying the festive atmosphere.
Furthermore, taking a sampan ride is a great chance for you to talk with local ferrymen who are willing to tell you the knowledge about the history and culture of this old town.
2. Visit Temple
On the full moon day, locals worship and show their gratitude to their ancestors by offering flowers, fruits, and incense. It is also the time locals and visitors pray for their prosperity and good luck when they visit pagodas and temples. In Hoi An, the architecture of these pagodas and temples are influenced by the Chinese style. To visit all the temples, pagodas, and museums, you need to pay 120,000 VND as the entrance fee. During Hoi An Lantern Festival, tourists and visitors come to Quan Cong (Quan Công) Pagodas and other assembly halls of Hoi An to wish for their happiness and luck.
3. Take Beautiful Pictures Of The Stunning Lanterns
You can take photos of colorful lanterns released on Hoai river. Other ideal places for beautiful pictures of stunning lanterns include Fujian Assembly Hall, Japanese Covered Bridge, Old House of Tan Ky (Tân Kỳ), and Cantonese Assembly Hall. These places are beautiful and fantastic with colorful lanterns and illuminating lights.
4. Enjoy Bai Choi (Bài Chòi) Game
Bai Choi is an exciting folk game in Vietnam. Involving folk singing and card drawing, Bai Choi game makes you enjoy the great music, acting, poetry, and literature as the songs of Bai Choi are about the daily activities and life and they indicate the connectivity and patriotism of the community. This interesting game makes the festival become more lively with a sparkling atmosphere.
5. Try Delicious Street Foods
Hoi An is known as many delicious street foods you should enjoy. On the full moon day, you will have a chance to eat many kinds of typical street food in Hoi An.
One of the must-try foods in the old town of Hoi An is Cao Lau (Cao Lẩu) which is influenced by Chinese and Japanese cultures. The foreign traders brought this food to Hoi An. Cao Lau has a combination between Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese style. You will find the unique feature in Cao Lau which is different from other Vietnamese food. The noodle of Cao Lau is as thick as the Japanese udon. The pork and rice crackers are the same as Chinese food while the broth comes from Vietnam.
But Hoi An also has many delicious street foods such as banh bao (bánh bao), banh vac (bánh vạc), banh dap (bánh đập), xi ma (xí mà), etc.
Useful Tips And Advices When You Take Part In Hoi An Lantern Festival
To get the best experience when you attend Hoi An Lantern Festival, you should follow these tips and techniques:
- Arrive at the festival soon: Hoi An Lantern Festival attracts a lot of locals and visitors; therefore, it is often crowded. So, you can not take good photos if you arrive at the festival late. You should go to Cau An Hoi Bridge and Japanese Covered Bridge where you can take stunning and beautiful pictures of lanterns released on the river. It is important for you to keep your precious belongings and camera carefully.
- Consider taking the sampan ride: It is great to enjoy the sampan ride when you go to the Hoi An Lantern Festival. It is a great opportunity for you to take beautiful pictures of colorful lanterns on the river. The average of sampan ride is about 100,000 VND but you can negotiate it.
- Know the lantern price: It is important for you to know the cost of one lantern that is around 5,000 VND but most of the sellers may tell you 10,000 VND. So, it is time for you to use the negotiation skill.
- Wear a pair of walking shoes: During the Hoi An Lantern Festival, all vehicles are banned in the old town; therefore, you have to walk a lot. So, it is recommended wearing a pair of walking shoes with high quality that ensures comfort when you walk on the streets.
- Best time to visit Hoi An is from February to August: During this time, Hoi An is beautiful and fascinating. The recommended time for you to participate in the Hoi An Lantern Festival in February as it is the biggest celebration. From October to December is the rainy seasons and the town is vulnerable to flooding. So, avoid visiting Hoi An at that time.
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A lantern festival is a popular event in Hoi An. It is a wonderful opportunity for tourists and visitors to admire the creativity and immerse yourself in the festive ambiance of the ancient town. I hope that this article gave you useful information about Hoi An Lantern Festival and any questions can be left in the comment section. We will answer them as soon as we can. To find more interesting articles about Vietnam’s attractions and activities, please visit Vina.com.