How is Hoi An Lantern festival celebrated?
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.
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.
Here are dates you can take part in this interesting festival in next time:
2018 Hoi An Lantern Festival dates: November 21st and December 20th
2019 Hoi An Lantern Festival dates: January 19th, February 18th, March 20th, April 18th, May 18th, June 16th, July 16th, August 14th, September 12th, October 10th, November 10th and December 9th
• Visit in February for the Hoi An Lantern Festival at its most brilliant - the first full moon of the lunar new year is the biggest celebration of them all.
• Buy handmade lanterns locally for a cost of around 50 cents - the vendor will usually lend you a long pole to lower the lantern onto the water
• Wear sturdy shoes - there is a good chance you will have your feet trodden on as you navigate the busy streets