Hoi An, at any time of the year is stunning but it’s particularly magical during the full moon. The electricity is switched off; the streets are closed off to traffic and the old town is transformed into a fairyland of flickering candles and silk lanterns.
A tradition that started centuries ago, locals flock from all over the region to set lanterns into the river as an offering to worship and pay respects to their ancestors as well as the Gods of the Land.
The candlelit old town is also the perfect setting for the hopeless romantics! You’ll likely see plenty of newlywed couples floating in sampans and releasing their lanterns in hopes to bring luck to their marriage.
Here is a quick rundown the festival & what to look out for:
When does it happen?
The full moon is on the 14th of every month. The festival dates for this year are:
- June 8
- July 7
- August 5
- September 4
- October 3
- November 2
- December 1
- December 31
Where does it happen?
Most of the action is centred around the Japanese Covered Bridge and Cau An Hoi Bridge which connects Hoi An and An Hoi An, and it spills along the surrounding streets by the river. Just look out for the hundreds of colourful lanterns, you can’t miss them!
How much does it cost?
The going price for a lantern is about 5,000 VND or 20cents, so the more you buy the more luck that will come your way… Well that’s what the lantern tellers will tell you, but hey, why not immerse yourself in the local culture?
Locals will outnumber tourists (well more than normal) during this time so grab a sampan. For small fee of $5 US or 100,000VND, sampans are a perfect way to escape the crowds and the river offers a fantastic viewpoint to enjoy the festival. It’s also nice way to release your own lanterns into the water.
When you’re in Hoi An, make sure to ask our crew about how you can make your own lanterns to take home!