The Hoi An Lantern Festival takes place every 14th day of the lunar month. Expect lovely floating lanterns cruising gently on the river and a slew of people enjoying the event’s merry atmosphere. We’ve listed a few reasons why going to the Hoi An Lantern fest is best for your wandering soul.
The dates for the 2020 Hoi An Lantern Festival include: January 8th, February 7th, March 7th, April 6th, May 6th, June 5th, July 4th, August 3rd, September 1st, October 30th, November 28th and December 28th.
One of the most popular events in South East Asia
The event is so popular that it is normal to expect tons of crowds enjoying the festival’s music, food, games, and colorful lanterns. Locals have long made it a tradition to also pay their sacred respects to their beloved ancestors by holding candlelit ceremonies in various temples on the day of the fest.
If you like the feeling of being in a busy crowd and experiencing the intense merriment of loud sound systems and gorgeous floating lanterns, the Hoi An Lantern fest is perfect for you. The old-world charm of Hoi An gets transformed to a street party of sorts when it powers off its fluorescent lights at eight in the evening to give way to the fest’s brilliant lanterns. Restaurants and bars are also open to those who want a nightcap before heading off to slumber.
But if you prefer a more peaceful type of festivity, Hoi An offers a similar quiet charm in the evening. Go to the night market and feast on the slew of crafts and trinkets available. Overall, you’ll find a lot of great things to do in Hoi An, to keep you entertained all holiday.
You’ll find yourself in scenic Instagram-worthy scenes
Imagine being in the midst of a sea of people under the full moon and witnessing colorful paper lanterns lit by beautiful candles. The Hoi An Lantern Festival occurs on the full moon and sees different types of lanterns light up the moment the sun sets.
The lanterns are considered as symbols of worship to ancestors and God. This ritual harkens back to a centuries-ago practice where locals from various parts of the region gather in Hoi An to show their offerings.
Most of the festivities occur within Hoi An’s old towns. Usually, these areas ban motorized vehicles, as well as electricity that night to keep up with tradition. The electric lights are replaced with lanterns, which colorfully fill the city’s streets. The event specifically takes place between the Cau An Hoi Bridge and Japanese Covered Bridge, which functions to connect Hoi An to An Hoi.
Tourists who want to participate can purchase their own lantern at 5,000 Vietnamese dollars. Some lanterns could cost as much as 10,000 Vietnamese dollars. Those who purchase lanterns will be provided with lengthy poles that will allow them to lower the lanterns to the river.
Enjoy a one-of-a-kind boat ride
Tourists have the opportunity to experience a sampan boat ride manned by locals. Expect to be navigated through a sea of lanterns floating on the river. You might have to fork up 100,000 Vietnamese dollars to ride on one. However, the experience offers a quaint escape from the joyfully harried streets. It is also the best time to release the lanterns in the water.
Do ask to be taken to the banks of the Cau An Hoi Bridge on the side of An Hoi. The area offers small walls that serve as great places for a relaxing break.
So if you’re heading to Hoi An during one of these exciting festivals, be sure to book your hotel early. We’ve curated a list of the top luxury hotels in Hoi An, if you’re looking to make it an upscale affair.