The mystery of the ancient Hoi An Lanterns

by Travel Authentic Asia on March 27, 2023

The lantern may be the most exquisite highlight, the subtle charm that marks a small corner of those who have visited Hoi An. Through many ups and downs, Hoi An lanterns have brought Vietnamese values, aesthetics, and culture, adding value to hundreds of years old ancient houses. To create these exquisite and eye-catching lanterns, the artisans in the lantern-making village have to put in meticulous attention, nurturing and timeless creativity. Perhaps that's why it gives me a feeling of closeness, warmth, and a strange familiarity, like the simple and familiar emotions of the people here.

Origin of Hoi An Lanterns

Origin of Hoi An lanterns

Origin of Hoi An lanterns

Some believe that lanterns in Hoi An were brought by people from the Chau, La, and Thai ethnic groups who originated from Chauzhou, Fujian, and Guangdong in China and immigrated here to start a new life. During their long journey, they brought lanterns with them and hung them in front of their houses to fulfill their longing for their homeland. Gradually, they became a cultural beauty that spread throughout the community, becoming a cultural beauty that has been maintained and developed until today.

Although they appeared quite early, it took several generations of lanterns to reach every household in Hoi An's Old Town, with a very simple decoration but still retaining the inherent beauty and elegance. Absorbing techniques from ancient lanterns, the people of Hoi An have constantly experimented, improved their methods, and diversified their lantern designs.

Discover the process of making Hoi An lanterns

The lanterns in Hoi An today are intricately embroidered with lace. To create these beautiful lanterns, it is a complex and meticulous process that requires skill and precision from the craftsman. The lantern-making process can be divided into two main stages:

Origin of Hoi An lanterns

The process of making Hoi An lanterns

First is the bamboo frame. Bamboo is carefully selected and processed before being shaped and bent into the frame. The bamboo used for the frame must be old and soaked in salt water for 10-15 days to prevent termites.

After that, the bamboo is dried, split, and trimmed into thin strips according to the size of each lantern. These strips are attached to two wooden hoops at the top and bottom and then connected by nylon strings. Finally, the craftsman skillfully adjusts and shapes the frame to create a symmetrical lantern.

The second stage is covering the frame with fabric. Hoi An people prefer to use Ha Dong silk to cover the lanterns. This silk makes the light become more ethereal and vivid, and the lantern becomes more elegant. The fabric is cut into pieces according to the size of the lantern and carefully glued to the bamboo frame.

The beautiful Hoi An lanterns

The beautiful Hoi An lanterns

Stretching the fabric requires the craftsman to be extremely skillful, especially at the curved corners. After the fabric is glued, the craftsman uses scissors to trim the excess and then attaches the handle to the bamboo frame.

Next, the artisan draws beautiful patterns and images of scenic landscapes that reflect the culture of East Asia on the lantern.

Finally, the lanterns are turned, painted with lacquer, and coated with varnish, then bent into hanging shapes to become a complete lantern.

Vietnam tours you may like:

Hoi An Lantern Festival

The Hoi An Lantern Festival is a of pride for the people of Hoi An, and takes place on the full moon day of each month. It's not just a unique tourist attraction, but also a way for locals to showcase their long-standing culture and traditions.

Hoi An lantern festival

Hoi An lantern festival

On the 15th day of the lunar calendar, the streets are illuminated with lanterns of various colors, replacing the usual electric lights. This creates a distinctive atmosphere that is unmatched anywhere else.

One of the most exciting activities that draws in a large number of tourists is releasing lanterns onto the Hoai River. The handmade lanterns, meticulously crafted by local artists, symbolize love and good luck.

You can also rent a boat and sail along the Hoai River, surrounded by the glittering lanterns that create a beautiful and enchanting scene. Hundreds of handmade lanterns illuminate the river and carry wishes to all corners of the world.

The coloful Hoi An lanterns

The coloful Hoi An lanterns

In Hoi An's old town, you can admire the lanterns at any time, in any place, and they are always beautiful. During the day, the lanterns reveal the intricate details, creativity, and talent of the artisans. At night, the lanterns transform into a magical display of colors, shining brightly and transporting you to a fairytale world.

Related articles you may want to read:

Travel Authentic Asia Company is your best choice for discovering the beauty of Southeast Asia. Our experienced and knowledgeable travel advisors are committed to helping you create a tailor-made tour and extraordinary experiences in this majestic region.

If you're looking for an authentic cultural experience, do not hesitate to contact Travel Authentic Asia to choose a Vietnam tour, Southeast Asia tour package or to customize your own style tour to South East Asia.


Login facebook to comment

login fb

Like us on facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Want to Contribute?

Do you have a great travel story that you want to contribute? It’s easy, just email us at: [email protected]