You look up the sky and watch multi-colored lamps swaying above in the wind, you look down for a moment and the water too, is twinkling in sparkling shades.
Once in every lunar month when it’s a full moon night, Hoi An becomes a city beyond your wildest imaginations.
History of the Lantern Festival
Legend has it that in Vietnam, where a majority of the locals follow Buddhism, celebrate the full moon as it remarks the birth of Lord Buddha. They even believe that during the full moon only, he achieved the enlightenment that he is revered for. In popular culture, the festival is more than a page back in time, today people find it an amusement, a way of showing love to the deceased and connecting themselves to their deities.
Hoi An Old Town and the Lantern Festival
In HoiAn, the yellow houses dim their lampshades that hang out of their homes when the sun sets and light up fluorescent lanterns out of their homes. No bikes or cycles in the evening are allowed in the city, so you’d walk on a bright open street beaming with all colors and the dim subtle moonlight taking a backstage.
The city takes a fresh blow when the river glistens in golden with the thousands of floating lanterns that the locals suspend into it. The Japanese bridge gleams from every nook and corner, which just brings a lovely charm and mood with it.
You’d watch locals playing board games out in their front yards and moon cakes being baked, those you’d see from out of their kitchen’s backyard. If you’re the lucky one to get on a boat, you would probably be able to capture the best of Hoi An’s sky and land when it all bursts with light and energy.
Street shows and music performances, delicious Vietnamese street food, and roaming in beautiful old quarters when all matched together, make up for a perfect festival in HoiAn.
Hoi An Lantern Festival dates 2020 and 2021
Is Hoi An lantern festival crowded?
Yes, the streets are full of people on the full moon festival, and there are even more lanterns in the sky and on the boats, but there is a rhythm to it. Since the old town is a vehicle-free zone, you can walk freely and enjoy the festival.
p.s: Be careful while clicking pictures from the Japanese bridge or while you are on the riverside. We saw a girl losing her phone in the water while getting off the boat. And to lose your phone, on your travels, in a foreign country is a nightmare!
The lantern sellers particularly sell the lanterns during these times at multifold the original prices, so that’s one big heads-up if you’re planning to buy one yourself. Also, the lanterns are plastic-based, flowing them up in the river doesn’t sound like a good plan, or does it? You decide before doing it!
The town becomes a magnum-opus set, and the festive mood goes on for a couple of hours, after which around midnight, it finally ends. The town sleeps, with the lanterns, still swinging in the wind and riding on the rippled waters, the moon watches the entire show!