One of the best things about traveling is getting to learn about new things from new food, culture, and more. the ancient town Hoi An Vietnam is a precious place because of the amazing traditional values they hold there. It is known as the ancient town of Hoi An and also the city of lanterns in Vietnam. The Hoi An lanterns are one of the most popular things to do in Hoi An and the best place to see lanterns in Vietnam.
Many of the buildings are preserved and a popular UNESCO sites in Vietnam. One of my favorite things while visiting this beautiful city was seeing all the beautiful Hoi An Lanterns and taking the Hoi An lantern-making class to learn the process of how to make these beautiful pieces. I think it is something you should add to your bucket list of things to do in Hoi An.
If this is your first time visiting Vietnam, be sure to read about my Vietnam travel guide on how to spend 10 days in Vietnam.
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Hoi An Lanterns | Where to buy and make Lanterns in Hoi An
Hoi An is a popular city located in central Vietnam. Its popularity was because of its beautiful handcrafted lanterns. Many people flock here because of the beautifully decorated city with lanterns, old traditional buildings, and bright yellow colors that fill this lantern town. Hoi An is known for several handcrafted products like clothing, shoes, lanterns, and more. You will be able to get a lot of beautiful pictures of Hoi An Vietnam.
READ: One day in Hoi An
History of Lanterns in Hoi An and about Hoi An
The lanterns of old town Hoi An became popular among locals with the Japanese first introduced them to these lanterns. In history, the lanterns were first designed and created by the Chinese and influenced many parts of Asia. The lanterns became popular because of their beautiful colors, designs, and many Asian cultures are sought to bring great fortune. These lanterns have been part of Hoi An’s history since the 6th century. Lantern making in Hoi An is still predominant today as it still holds the name city of lanterns in Vietnam.
Where can I take photos of Lanterns in Hoi An?
You can see many of the lanterns scattered throughout the town. The most popular places to take photos of the Hoi An Lanterns are at the Lantern market in Hoi An. Hoi An silk lanterns are typically scattered throughout the city.
- Lantern Market
- Hoi An Handicraft Tours
- Hoi An Ancient Town
- Full Moon Hoi An Lantern Festival
If you are lucky and happen to arrive during the most popular time, you can especially check them out during the monthly lantern festivals that are held in Hoi An. Although the lantern festival is mostly lit lanterns that are laid out on the river with candles and no so much the traditional silk lanterns.
When is the Hoi An Lantern Festival?
The dates of the Hoi An Lantern Festival 2021 are as following:
- January 26th
- February 25th
- March 26t
- April 25th
- May 25th
- June 23rd
- July 23rd
- August 21st
- September 20th
- October 19th
- November 18th
- December 17th
Where to buy Hoi An Lanterns?
While you can easily buy the Hoi An Lanterns at the Lantern Market, I highly suggest you take a class instead. You can easily purchase one, however, one of the things about traveling to Hoi An is learning about the culture of the area right? I highly recommend you make your own lantern which not only gives you pride in what you made, you can choose the style, color, and more when you make your own lantern. You may be worried if you don’t have the skills, but trust me the instructors are very helpful and will even fix it if you have any errors. It’s a great experience and you get to take home the lantern you made.
In addition, if you take the lantern-making class and you want more lanterns, you can easily purchase some there at the store.
How to choose a Hoi An Lantern
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a lantern. First, you will need to choose the shape you like. There are several different types of shapes from the Sunrise, Sunset, Lotus (circular one), and more.
Next, you need to choose what color you want, different colors symbolize different things.
- Yellow – prosperity wealth
- Red – joy, luck, good fortune, love
- Purple – fragility, tenderness, nostalgia, fragility
- Blue – hope, calmness, growth
- Green – lust or jealousy
- Black – evil
- White – purity or death (this is pretty common in several Asian cultures, for example in old times, white was worn to funerals)
Exploring and shopping at Lantern Market in Hoi An
On the other side of the main river across from the Japanese Covered Bridge, you will find the Lantern Market in Hoi An Ancient Town. This is a popular place to tour at night time during your stay. It’s popular for tourists to dress up in the traditional Vietnam outfit called the áo dài. Many of the people in the market will have all their lanterns lit up for display for many people to admire.
However, many people will not buy them and just want to take their selfies. This can be quite frustrating for business owners since they take a long time mastering their craft and creating these colorful lanterns. Some owners do charge you use take beautiful photos with their lanterns and I highly suggest you do that if you choose not to buy a lantern. Additionally, you’ll more than likely get a better shot that way since people will wait in turn and you won’t be bombed with other tourists in your photos.
Hoi An Lanterns Making Class
There are many steps when it comes to doing the lantern-making class. I did my class with Hoi An Handicraft tours. You can book your experience here.
How long does a Hoi An Lanterns Making Class take?
The class takes about 2-3 hours depending on your level of skill and patience. I think I was able to do it quicker than what they estimated, however, it varied on how busy the location may be. You will need the instructors to help tell you the next steps and help check your work. If the location is busy, it may take longer.
How much does the Hoi An Lanterns Making Class cost?
It will cost about $10 USD. Book your experience here.
Where can I take a Hoi An Lantern Making Class?
It is in a studio located in Hoi An. The workroom has several lanterns on display to give you some sort of inspiration for what you want to create or what you want your lantern to look like. There are several locations where you can take the Lantern Making class however, I suggest you go with Hoi An Handicraft tours. They definitely know what they are talking about, very helpful, and professional.
Most popular locations to take a Hoi An Lantern Making Class
- Hoi An Handicraft Tours
- Reaching Out Lantern Workshop
- The Lantern Lady Workshop
- Travel Hoi An Lantern Making Tour
Do I get to keep my Hoi An lanterns?
Of course. You can also purchase any of the lanterns in the facility as well if there is a specific one you like or if you want to build your collection.
How do you make lanterns in Hoi An?
Step 1: Choose the lantern shape you want.
Step 2: Tie the Bamboo Sticks together
Step 3: Bend the Bamboo Sticks
Step 4: Attach the Bamboo Sticks to the lantern
Step 5: Glue the Sticks to the Lantern
Step 6: Open the Lantern
Step 7: Choose the 4 pieces of silk or fabric for your lantern
Step 8: Attach the Silk or Fabric to 4 Bamboo sticks with Glue
Step 9: Keep going until the lantern is complete
Step 10: Pick a band for the lantern
Step 11: Glue the band for the Lantern
Step 12: Attach the tassel
Step 13: Test out your Hoi An lanterns with a bulb, take photos, etc. It’s complete!
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