Lantern Festival is a typical characteristic of Hoian, attracting the interest of tourists and the locals. The festival is organized aiming at celebrating the unique tourist product of Hoian.
Hoi An Bridge is the centre area of Lantern Festival in Hoian with a floating stage om Thuong River, decorated with the antique umbrellas, shaped like a lantern. Inside the umbrella, there is an image of a golden buffalo representing the year of Ky Suu (the year of buffalo in Eastern conception).
The lanterns here are large, lightening all the time, brightening the Square of Hoai River. The smallest one is about 1m long and 1m wide.
From An Hoi bridge to the floating stage is a colourful silk road. 77 lanterns at various sharps from Cau temple, moonlight road to lanterns in the shape of star, own fish trap, dragon, unicorn, phoenix from many candidate units are arranged along the 2 sides of the Square, lighting to the river, combining with the floating images of dragon, unicorn, phoenix on Hoai River. In addition, thousands of flower lights floating on the water making the festival night fanciful and fascinated.
These masterpieces are created by the renowned lantern artists of Hoian and also by non-specializing units and agencies competing to honor this unique tourist product of Hoian, based on the themes mentioned above.
From the impressive gate hung with colourful lanterns of all shapes and sizes along the two sides of Hoai River to the centre of Hoai River Square, the people and tourists are satisfied with lanterns and Hoian is once more time successful with its new product which will be organized regularly on Tet Holiday.
At 20:30, opening music starts on the ground of traditional music with flag flying on the stage. The Lantern burning ceremony is conducted formally with the activities of offering wine to gods. Three scholars with their students open the mats, using a big brushers write 3 words of “Xuan Dang Hoi” and the 3 larger words of “Hoi Den Xuan” (mean Lantern Festival”. lanterns are brought to be lightened.
The mysterious light of lanterns in the style of different civilizations including Europe, Asia and Vietnam seem to be combined on the river as the condensation between the past and present at the sacred moment of mourning the old year and welcoming the New Year.
Lantern procession takes place both on the stage and in Hoai River. Small boats are decorated as the flower boats to process lanterns to the competition by carrying them along the two shores to be admired by the audiences. On the water, thousands of flower lights are floating, brightening the water of Hoai River.
Dropping lights are conducted by the scholars and his team who tie the blessing words to balloons. Girls of Hoian in the traditional dress of Ao Dai shape the image of lotus and hold lanterns on their hands. An Hoi bridge is the place of dropping sky lights. 3 people will be a group, moving toward the river shore to drop 1 light. There are total of 79 sky lights representing 79 years of the Party’ establishment.
A number of memories are recorded at New Year’s time between tourists and Hoian’s lanterns. The festival lasts until January 14th in lunar calendar. The best and most unique lanterns voted by the organizer and tourists will be declared at the closing night of the festival.