Why Is Hoi An Lantern Festival Vietnam's Most Lit Feast

Vietnam has some of the unmatched attractions in the cities, out of which the Hoi An lantern festival tops the tourist list. This festival is celebrated on the 14th day of the first lunar moon when the moon is at its brightest. The people of Hoi An celebrates this festival by setting lanterns into the river as the offering to the gods of the land, and their ancestors. The sight of the riverside looks stunning with people crowding over the shore to set their lanterns.

Hoi An Lantern Festival, Vietnam
Beautiful Lanterns in Hoi An

Location of the festival in Hoi An

It’s indeed important to be aware of the exact location of the festival. Most of the festivities usually take place in the old town of Hoi An, this place doesn’t allow motorized vehicles and uses very minimum electricity lights. The roads are lit with different colors of the lantern which gives a very rustic look to the town.
The main action of the lantern festival takes place in between the Japanese Covered Bridge and the Cau An Hoi Bridge. You should stay close to the river to witness the incredible view of this festival.

Tourists consider this festival a brilliant way to showcase the art and creativity of the natives. The talent of the local artisans are beautifully depicted in the colorfully crafted lanterns. Here are a few things you can try when you visit the Hoi An lantern festival.

1. Take a peaceful sampan ride

The sampan ride is suggested because it’s the best way to set the lanterns on the water surface. The act of releasing the lantern into the river is believed to bring luck and prosperity. We suggest you take some time to communicate with the locals to find the best way to the sampan ride.

2. Relish delicious street food

Trying some of the delicious Hoi An street food is a must. You can walk around to taste the flavorful dishes this city has to offer. Let’s give you a mini food tour of Hoi An cuisine and what dishes are a must for you to try once you visit the city.

•    Cao Lau- It’s the most famous dish made with noodles with a tiny amount of ash from a particular tree and water from a specific well.
•    Crispy wontons- This is more like a giant nacho, packed with tons of flavors.
•    Com ga- It’s a plate full of rice, fresh chicken, herbs, chilies, and lemons.
•    Banh xeo- It’s a tasty savory pancake

Here are some honorable mentions, you can also try white rose dumplings, Vietnamese pizza, Banh mis baguettes, and banh mi op la.

See More: Authentic Vietnam Street Food

A Peaceful Sampan Ride in Hoi An
A Peaceful Sampan Ride in Hoi An
Street Food in Hoi An Lantern Festival
Street Food in Hoi An Lantern Festival

3. Enjoy the traditional Bai Choi

Once you are in Hoi An, do witness the Bai Choi festival which is an interesting folk game. The game includes poetry, acting, music, literature, and painting. This game is a little complex, and includes some rules that are best followed by the natives only. You can communicate with the locals to participate. This game is said to bring life in the Hoi An Lantern Festival.

4. Capture the beautiful lantern view

Besides all the action around the river, don’t forget to carry your DSLR for capturing beautiful moments. The Japanese Covered Bridge, Cantonese Assembly Hall, and other places look stunning and worth a couple of clicks for sure.

5. Visit a temple

The lantern festival is the best time for the locals to pay respect and offer food and other things to their ancestors. They assemble in the temple of pagodas in Hoi An. You must visit the temples, ancient houses, and other tourist attractions to witness this sight. You will often find the tourists gathering around Quan Cong Pagodas and a few other assembly halls making their way to acquire happiness.

Important tips

1. Best time to visit Hoi An

You might wonder what is the best time to visit Hoi An, we suggest the time between February to August, but you must take a look at the lunar calendar to catch the lantern festival. You will have to fish out this information to get the most out of the trip. One important thing to remember is that avoid Hoi An during the rainy season because the old town is prone to flood.

2. Don’t forget to negotiate the lantern price

Shopping in Hoi An will require your haggling skills. You must make sure to pitch an amount that is lesser than what they suggest. Due to the old town is in the remote area the shop owners inflate the prices. Make sure you haggle before you buy it.

Traditional Folk Game
Traditional Folk Game
Negotiate the Lantern Price
Negotiate the Lantern Price

3. Prepare yourself to take the walk

This is again important to keep in your itinerary. Wear comfortable shoes to walk if needed, because the old town doesn’t allow transportation inside.

4. The exact timing of the festival

The Hoi An lantern festival starts around dusk and the exact action gets done by 9 to 10 pm. We suggest you begin right after dusk to enjoy the full moon evening and the oozing environment in town. It’s not very good to leave late, so start early.

5. Know the best place to catch the perfect view

You cannot find this information properly until you speak to the locals in the town. The natives will help you reach the picture-perfect spot to enjoy the lantern festivals. Based on some of the tourists who suggested their favorite spot, you can try the bank of the river at Cau An Hoi Bridge. The other spots you can try are the cafes lining the riverfront of the Japanese Bridge. These can help you find your spot to witness the lantern festival in bliss.
These brilliant activities in Hoi An lantern festival makes it the most lit feats in Vietnam. Now that you are all set to enjoy the Hoi An lantern festival, make sure to collect unforgettable memories. Apart from this festival, you will also have access to many historical and cultural sites in the city that you can explore. Make sure you have an itinerary prepared before you hit the roads of Vietnam. Traveling becomes easy and much more productive with a preplan.

See More: 

Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam

Celebrating Tet in Vietnam (Vietnamese New Year)

5 Best Festivals in Vietnam to Celebrate with Locals