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With an array of architectural styles, a charming laidback atmosphere, and some of the country’s loveliest food, UNESCO World Heritage town Hoi An is a popular stop for first – and second and third – timers to Vietnam. The town is an attraction in itself, and you could easily lose a few days strolling around its pretty streets, stopping at cafes to sup iced coffees as you watch the world go by.
Hoi An Lantern Festival 2018
There is something else that draws visitors here though – the monthly Hoi An lantern festival. On the night of the full moon, buzzing motorbikes fall silent, and bright lights are swapped with silk lanterns and tea-light candles.
Traditionally, locals would burn incense for good luck, and make offerings at family altars on the day of the festival. Lighting a small lantern and sending it down the river is also a popular custom; by the end of the evening, hundreds of brightly coloured lanterns can be seen floating into the distance.
As peaceful as this twinkly ceremony seems, it isn’t a secret – as the full moon peaks, tourists flock to the town. Streets can be noisy with jolly revellers and the odd sound system, but it’s a lot of fun. If you want escape the crowds though, you can pootle down the river, past the twinkling town, on a sampan boat. Alternatively, spending time in nearby pagodas can be as special as casting your lantern, with monks holding candle-lit ceremonies in the evening.
If you’re not in town for the lantern festival, or it doesn’t sound like your thing, rest assured that night-time Hoi An is always lovely. Dip into one of many restaurants, browse the night market, and take to a terrace for a digestif as the evening draws in.
Top tips for the Hoi An Lantern Festival 2018:
– The first full moon of the year is the most celebrated, so prepare for a party!
– Arrive early to give yourself the best vantage point of the river. As mentioned, the town can get pretty busy
– Take a ride on a sampan to see the lanterns from the water
– Bring a lanyard for your camera, you don’t want to see it too float down the river.
– There isn’t a lantern festival in February 2018
The released dates so far are below. We will update the list as and when the dates are confirmed.
November 3rd, 2017
December 1st, 2017
December 31st, 2017
January 30th, 2018
February – there isn’t a Hoi An Lantern Festival in February 2018
March 1st, 2018
March 30th, 2018
April 29th, 2018
Get in touch with our team to plan your visit to the Hoi An Lantern Festival 2018.