Day 5: Lanterns

Lanterns can be found all over Asia. Different cultures have different shapes, sizes and colors of lanterns, but they seem to be everywhere we travel in Asia, and they’re always beautiful!

Lanterns vary in size, colour and shape

Chinese lanterns are mostly red, except for during the lantern festival each winter (usually in February, depending on the lunar calendar).

An example of the Chinese lantern festival in Philadelphia. They use many smaller and large lanterns and make huge parade-style floats of bright colors. I was lucky enough to experience Xiamen’s lantern festival in 2006, but I’ve never seen anything as beautiful as theirs since.

Hoi’an has had lanterns as a cultural artform for centuries, but historically, they were mostly circular and red, like traditional Chinese lantern. With increases in tourism in the 1990s though, Hoi’an started adding more shapes, colours and designs to their lanterns. The effects are spectacular.

Now, the lanterns in Ho’ian are a big draw for tourism. I’ve always wanted to see the lanterns of Ho’ian (I actually sort of booked this trip with them in mind!), and they didn’t lack in “wow factor”.

You see them in the shop windows for tourists to buy
You’ll see them hanging from Palm trees to decorate the city
You’ll see them on the boats that take tourists up the river

During celebrations, the city of Ho’ian instructs shops and houses to turn off their lights so that you can only see these beautiful lanterns along the river. I imagine it’s quite the sight!

This was River side during our stay. The camera doesn’t quite capture the beauty.
They’re also used to decorate restaurants all over the Old Historic part of town

Our time in Hoi’an has been filled with light!

Stay tuned for more on this beautiful lantern city!

Leave a Reply