Hoi An Lantern Making


Nights in Hoi An Ancient Town become more mysterious with various kinds of hand-made lanterns. The lanterns are the result of exchanges among Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese cultures, all famous for their various and specific identities. Lantern-making is associated with the tourism development of Hoi An Ancient Town.

hoianlanternmaking2On the 15th of every  month of the lunar calendar, modernity takes another step back, the town turns off its street lamps and fluorescents lights, leaving the Old Quarter bathed in the warm glow of colored silk, glass and paper lanten.

Originating from basic appliances, the  lanterns have been lifted to an art of decoration, and they now hold a firm position in Hoi An inhabitants’ minds and lives. Done by skillful hands and with great imagination, the lanterns now serve different purposes – not only as living necessities, but also as an artistic expression. From their initial basic form, Hoi An lanterns nowadays can be seen in different shapes and with beautiful decorations, while they also carry meaningful names.

hoianlanternmaking3Lanterns are made of Vietnamese silk, which is made from silk worms famous in Asia. The silk has beautiful colors and meaningful patterns. You can choose lanterns with wooden frames, some made from very precious wood,  with a painting of a legend on each side of the lantern. They are all hand made from bamboo, silk, and wood. Once lighted, lanterns will illuminate with marvelous, mysterious light which will take you hundreds of years back, to times of tales and mystery.

For many years, the traditionally colored lanterns have enchanted Hoi An visitors; they have become indispensable souvenirs that visitors can never forget to pack on their way home, and they have therefore become well-known to the world. Lantern making is the main job for hundreds of workers in Hoi An, and every year tens of thousands of Hoi An lanterns are exported or bought by foreign visitors as souvenirs and gifts. As a cultural and touristic product, the lanterns have helped raise the income of Hoi An’s residents.