Hoi An Ancient Town is a charming town in Quang Nam Province, 30 kilometers from Da Nang City. The ancient town is famous for its timeless beauty and long-standing cultural heritage. Hoi An was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, attracting people from domestically and internationally to delve into the yellowed buildings and ancient streets and enjoy blending cultures from Japan, China, and Vietnam. 

Just escape from the hustle and bustle of the dynamic urban and find your inner peace when wandering through the pink and white paper flower trellises blooming in every street, every alleyway, and radiant on the porch. One thing in Hoi An that makes the paper flower scenery more charming is the colorful lanterns. Lantern is the soul of Hoi An. The old town is the most glamorous in the warm glow of lanterns, and the best time to visit Hoi An is in the Hoi An Lantern Festival.

Are you planning to visit Hoi An during the Hoi An Lantern Festival to soak in the mesmerizing scene of lantern glow? So, what day is the Hoi An Lantern Festival 2024? Do not miss out on our valuable guides to enjoy the fullest of Hoi An’s sparkling night!

lantern in hoian vietnam
Lantern Festival in Hoian

Shine Bright at Hoi An Lantern Festival 2024 – A Must Experience Event in Vietnam

1. Hoi An Lantern Overview

Vietnam Hoi An Lantern Festival is organized each lunar month. The festival is a unique characteristic of one of the most charming towns in the world, Hoi An. Hoi An Lantern Festival attracts tourists not only from foreign countries but also from Vietnamese tourists. Come to Hoi An Ancient Town during this time, is a golden opportunity to admire the alluring beauty of Hoi An at night with thousands of vibrant lanterns that light up every corner in the ancient town.

hoian lantern
Hoian Lantern Festival

2. The Roots of Hoi An Lantern Festival

Step back in time from the 15th to the 19th century, when Hoi An was still a bustling trading port. The Chinese and Japanese traders came to Hoi An to settle and make their own business there. Those traders hung vibrant lanterns in front of their houses to remind them of their hometowns and to keep unique cultural identities when living far from their homeland. As time went by, many locals also imitated the traders’ habit of hanging lanterns in front of their houses with the promise that it would bring luck and peace to their loved ones.

Since then, lanterns with various shapes and colors have become integral to Hoi An Ancient Town. When it comes to Hoi An, the shimmering lantern image will appear in every person’s mind. At the end of the 1900s, Hoi An’s local authorities decided to organize the Hoi An Lantern Festival on the full moon day of every month. It not only positively contributes to the beauty of Hoi An but also maintains the traditional custom that has existed for over 600 years in the ancient town. Nowadays, the Lantern Festival is always one of the top must-do activities when visiting Hoi An.

Lanterns in hoian
Lanterns in hoian

3. What day is the Lantern Festival?

Vietnam Hoi An Lantern Festival is held on the 14th day of every lunar month. On the full moon day of the festival, from 05:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., the ancient town will stop all the vehicles entering the town. Every corner of Hoi An Ancient Town is spent for walking activities and prepared for the charming lanterns to light up. Hoi An at night is a time when the ancient streets come vividly with colorful lanterns, and the poetic Thu Bon River reflects the starry sky.

Wander around the ancient town during the Hoi An Lantern Festival, and you will feel and bask in the cozy and peaceful ambiance. All the local restaurants, coffee stores, and bars in the town turn off their electric lights to give place to the beauty of shimmering lanterns shining. This is also an ideal time to witness many traditional performances from the artist local. Also, do not hesitate to join in many folk games with friendly locals to connect and be a part of the enchanting night easily.

Generally, Hoi An Lantern Festival occurs on the 14th day of the lunar calendar each month. We will provide you with the detailed dates for the Hoi An Lantern Festival dates 2024, and Hoi An Lantern Festival dates 2025.

Lantern Festival in 2023Lantern Festival in 2024
July1st, 31st19th
Hoian Lantern Festival in 2023-2024

4. Hoi An Lantern Festival highlight

4.1 Lantern Lighting Ceremony

The Lantern Lighting Ceremony is one of the most iconic parts of the festival. At sunset, all the electric lights in the old town are turned off, and the town is illuminated by the gentle, cozy atmosphere and warm glow of thousands of colorful lanterns. Imagine walking under the stretch of shimmering lanterns, slowly admiring the ancient architecture of the yellow house. You have chosen the right way to feel the authentic Hoi An Ancient Town. As night falls, the riverbanks and streets become bustling, with people releasing these lanterns onto the Thu Bon River,  creating a mesmerizing and romantic scene

lantern festival in hoian
Lantern festival in Hoian

4.2 Hoi An Lantern Festival River

The Thu Bon River plays a central role in the festival. During the festival, the river is adorned with countless floating candles and lantern-lit boats, which create a magical and romantic scene. You can take a reasonably priced boat ride to experience this enchanting ambiance. The price for a boat on the river ranges from 30,000- 50,000 VND/pax ($1.23 – $2.05). Make sure to purchase lantern lights (about 10,000 VND ~ $0.04) to make the most of Hoi An Lantern Festival River. Release them onto the Thu Bon River, let the clear water wash away all your troubles, and get closer to hope, luck, and love.

Hoi An Lantern Festival River
Hoi An Lantern Festival River

4.3 Traditional Music and Dance

The Hoi An Lantern Festival is a feast for the eyes and also a treat for the ears. Throughout festive time, you can enjoy traditional music and dance performances. These showcase the rich cultural heritage of Hoi An and Vietnam as a whole. The performances often take place in the ancient streets and public spaces, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture.  Their performances often tell stories of the region’s history and folklore, captivating the audience with graceful movements and vibrant tunes with local instruments, like drums and monochords. 

Also, enjoy “Bai Choi”, a traditional performance that combines music, acting, and poetry. This traditional art was listed in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list in 2017. Apart from the singing, it offers a drawing game similar to Bingo. You can join locals in the game to deeply bask in the local culture, or simply observe other people play, which is enough to feel the fun and festive atmosphere.

Bai Choi
Bai Choi

5. Discovering the Local Culture

On Lantern Festival Day, locals will turn off all electric lights in their houses to make more room for the whole ancient town bath in the sparkling fanciful space. Some families also prepare a bountiful offering table filled with fruits and a few dishes for full moon rituals. During this festive day, visiting Hoi An is a great opportunity to live in an authentic Hoi An trading port a few centuries ago. Wandering slowly through the ancient streets and observing cultural activities in the ancient street, you will feel immersed in the glorious light party.

lantern market
Discovering the Local Culture

6. Explore street food in Lantern Festival

Come to Hoi An Ancient Town during the Lantern Festival, and do not forget to try the original taste of Hoi An by enjoying diverse street food. Some of the Vietnam Traditional Foods in Hoi An made a name for the charming town you must- try when visiting Hoi An in Lantern Festival:

  • Cao Lau: Cao Lau is one of the most famous noodles in Hoi An, Quang Nam. The tasty dish is mainly served with slices of juicy barbecue pork, fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and crispy rice crackers. What makes Cao Lau special is the rich broth that simmers with pork bones and vegetables for hours. 
  • Com Ga:  Hoi An Chicken Rice is a fragrant Hoi An specialty, a delicious rice dish with seasoned shredded chicken served with flavorful turmeric-infused rice. Chicken rice is also served with local herbs, including shredded green papaya, carrots, and fresh herbs to harmonize the flavors. 
  • My Quang: Quang Noodle is a famous noodle you do not miss out on savoring in Hoi An. It’s made with wide rice noodles, savory broth, and a mix of tasty ingredients like some slices of chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, quail eggs, peanuts, and fresh local herbs.
hoian foods
Explore street food in Hoian

7. Hoi An Lantern Making

Hoi An is Vietnam’s most famous traditional craft village for making lanterns. The craft village was formed in the 16th century when Hoi An was still a bustling trading port. The Hoi An Lantern Making traditional craft villages have passed down from one generation to another. Nowadays, lantern making is not only a career of making a living for material values but also rich for the spiritual lives of Hoi An’s people. Hoi An and Lanterns have been deeply ingrained in Vietnam’s culture for over 600 years. 

The process of making a beautiful lantern is not simple. It is a complicated process requiring the local craftsmen to be skillful and meticulous at every stage. Lantern making has two main stages, including frame making and cloth wrapping. It is important to choose bamboo for lantern making, old bamboo is the priority. The cloth is usually made from silk to make the charming and shimmering for the Hoi An’s lantern. Coming to Hoi An Ancient Town, you will be immersed in over 30 lantern store spaces with colorful lanterns in various shapes.

hoian lantern making
Hoian Lantern making

8. Lantern Making Workshop Hoi An

Engage in the Lantern Making Workshop is always on top of the list of things to do in Hoi An. The Lantern Making Workshop in Hoi An offers a hands-on opportunity to craft your own beautiful lantern. Skilled local craftsman will guide you through the creative process, helping you design and decorate your lantern. And, even more amazing if a Central Tour in Vietnam includes engaging in a lantern making workshop in Hoi An, making your experience in Hoi An more fulfilling. It is a memorable and artistic experience in this charming town.

Lantern Making
Lantern Making Workshop Hoi An

The Hoi An Lantern Festival is a demonstration of preserving and maintaining the beautiful cultural features of this town and a must-see for anyone seeking to connect with the soul of Vietnam’s cultural heritage.