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    The Hoi An lantern festival - one of Southeast Asia’s most popular events

    Boasting magnificent architecture and riverside settings, Hoi An’s ancient town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Vietnam’s central coast. Every month, when the full moon shines, fluorescent lights are switched off, roads are closed to traffic and the streets are illuminated with thousands of colourful lanterns. This festival, Vietnamese people call it is: Hoi An Lantern Festival.

    The Hoi An lantern festival - one of Southeast Asia’s most popular events

    As the name suggests, the biggest feature of this festival is the lanterns. Cute, multi-coloured lanterns are lit with candles and placed on the Thu Bon river with a wish for happiness, luck and love. At 8pm all fluorescent lights are turned off so that the floating lanterns are all that illuminate Hoi An, creating a magical glow. The ban on vehicles and bicycles in Hoi An's old quarter means you can wander around and soak up the atmosphere without fear of walking into the path of a motorist.

    The Hoi An lantern festival - one of Southeast Asia’s most popular events

    There are usually performances held along the river with music (bamboo flutes, drums and fiddles) and poetry readings. Locals will play board games outside their homes while others gather for Bai Choi - a musical version of bingo. Street food stalls pop up all along the river selling delicious vegetarian food alongside classic pork dishes. It's a great time to try tasty moon cakes (pastries filled with sweet red bean paste) and shop at the busy night markets. By 10pm the celebrations wind down.

    The Hoi An lantern festival - one of Southeast Asia’s most popular events


    In conjunction with the lantern festival, the full moon is a time to honour deceased relatives and ancestors. Local families will also visit shrines and present offerings of flowers, food and candles as well as fake money bills in exchange for prosperity.

    Where is the Hoi An Lantern Festival celebrated?

    The Full Moon festival is celebrated across Vietnam but the UNESCO-listed town of Hoi An has become the most popular destination for travellers to enjoy the monthly festivities thanks to the dedicated lantern festival.

    The best place to witness the action in Hoi An is the area between the Japanese Covered Bridge and the Cau An Hoi Bridge. Here you'll be able to see lanterns released onto the river with water that beautifully reflects the hanging lights of surrounding buildings.

    When is the Full Moon Festival celebrated?

    The Hoi An Lantern Festival takes place on the 14th day of each lunar month. Here are the dates for the next two years:

    2017 Hoi An Lantern Festival dates: July 7th, August 5th, September 4th, October 3rd, November 2nd, December 1st and December 31st.

    So, If you want to watch The Hoi An lantern festival, join a Hoi An Tour on the 14th day of any lunar month, you’ll be treated to central Vietnam’s version of a full moon party.


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