The lantern festival in Hoi An: this happens during the full moon

Hoi An and lanterns are inseparable. The old town is beautifully lit at night by the hundreds of lanterns hanging through the streets. It creates a cozy, quiet atmosphere where you can walk around for hours. Once a month during the full moon, the city celebrates something special, namely the Lantern Festival.
-Jalan Raya Pantai Berawa No. 36

Magic fairytale

Every 14th day of the ‘Lunar month’ the lights in the city go out and the Full Moon Lantern Festival takes place in Hoi An. During this tradition, the electricity goes out and this town is lit up with hundreds of colored lanterns. The river flows full of candles in small paper lanterns and the town turns from a tourist town into a magical fairytale

Happiness and prosperity

During the first full moon festival of the new year (this is after the Tet Festival) local people come to the center to light their candles. The lanterns with a candle are placed in the river and float away. The Vietnamese wish happiness and prosperity for the coming year. Tourists can buy and light their candles and this gives a beautiful sight from the shore. You can also enjoy the view from the water, on a Sampan, a wooden boat of about four meters long.

Tet Festival

We celebrate the New Year on January the first, Chinese celebrate Chinese New Year and Vietnamese celebrate the Tet Festival. This is the most important celebration of the year, celebrating the arrival of the New Year and spring. Preparations start a month in advance and the party itself lasts three days. Usually, this holiday falls in January or February. Therefore, the first full moon of the New Year is seen as the most important day.


Back to the lantern festival, because lighting the candles is not the only thing that happens on this day. On this evening the Vietnamese pay tribute to their ancestors. They do this by offering flowers, food, and incense at specially decorated altars. These altars can be found in people’s homes, but also in front of the shops on the street. This is preceded by a whole ritual and this ritual can also be seen at the Tet Festival.

Special experience

So try to book your trip to Hoi An during the festival. This way you get a good impression of the city. Besides that, it is magical to see all those little candles lightning in the river. Also the rest of the year Hoi An is a great place to visit where you can walk around and stroll along with the shops. Of course, it is special to experience the lantern festival. If that doesn’t work out, don’t worry. Every night the lanterns are seen in the old city center, so enough opportunities for a nice picture.

Lantern Festival in 2020

Read further to find out when you can see the Lantern Festival in 2020.

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