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City & Culture

Hoi An and its magical lanterns

Translated by Bing
Remembering my trip to Hoi An last year, my memory is still deep with the image of colorful lanterns

I picked up my phone, looking back at the photos of my days roaming all the roads of the country. My hand suddenly stopped at a photo with bright red confetti bushes and colorful lanterns, standing out against the characteristic earthy yellow walls. This day last year, I was in Hoi An.

Around 6 o'clock my boyfriend and I arrived at this place, Hoi An was still asleep in the morning sun, the houses with red tile roofs and long walls lay dormant under the confetti trees. Hoi An is like a muse in the heart of Quang Nam, the crystallization of traditional and modern beauty.

To evaluate Hoi An ancient town, people have a saying "One step through three cultures". Three cultures are mentioned and clearly portrayed here: Japan – China – Vietnam. Witnessing many ups and downs in history, Hoi An wears a mysterious, quiet and strange peace. Around this time Hoi An is still sparsely populated, with occasional bicycles passing by. I took a deep breath to embrace the tranquility and tranquility that only when we go away from Saigon can we feel.

We stopped at a rooftop café on the corner of Tran Phu. The purpose is both to see the panorama of Hoi An most easily, and to wait for the transformation of this place when night comes.

In the early evening, when the last ray of sunshine disappears, Hoi An gradually becomes crowded and bustling. Thousands of lanterns from all over the houses, alleys, whether round, octagonal, pumpkin, garlic, dumplings or lotus flowers,... imbued with Vietnamese national style and beliefs was gradually lit. When Hoi An is covered by night, the flickering light of the lamps becomes more attractive than ever, making people want to immerse themselves forever in this space...

Source: Author

Since 1988, every 14th lunar night, the program "Full Moon Night of the Old Town" has been held. Hoi An Ancient Town becomes strangely beautiful in the shimmering, fanciful light of the lanterns. The largest Hoi An Lantern Festival is held on the traditional New Year holiday from the days near the end of December until the end of the January lunar calendar. This is considered a feature of Hoi An's tourism culture.

The lantern is perhaps the most sophisticated highlight, the underground charm that "marks the sovereignty" of a small corner in the hearts of those who have visited Hoi An. Through many ups and downs, Hoi An lanterns have brought pure Vietnamese values, shapes, aesthetics and culture, adding value to centuries-old ancient houses. To be able to create exquisite, eye-catching lamps is the distillation, cherishment and timeless creativity of the lantern village artisans. Maybe that's why it gives me a strange feeling of closeness, warmth. Like the affection of the people here, idyllic, emitted but strangely familiar.

On the Hoai River, paper lanterns are floated on the gently flowing stretch of river. The small shimmering lights from the paper lamp reflect into thousands of brilliant little specks of light, carrying hopes, prayers for good luck and peace.


Hoi An is a typical example of a perfectly preserved traditional Asian port. As a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, it is the pride of every Vietnamese person. We will definitely come back when the epidemic passes, drop the lantern on the bank of the Huai River that day. I have always secretly wished for health, and peace to everyone.

Writer: My Dieu

Image source: Multiple authors
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