Lanterns appeared in Hoi An a long time ago. It was around the end of the 16th century when the first Chinese came to Hoi An to trade and settle down and settle permanently. So far, the craft of making lanterns in Hoi An is over 400 years old.

Traditional lanterns are one of the unique products of Hoi An - a world cultural heritage. Lanterns are a typical cultural feature of Hoi An, so most of the tourists who have a chance to visit this ancient town want to own a lantern as a souvenir reminiscent of a poetic and also warm land named Hoi An.

Coming to Hoi An, you will easily see images of colorful lanterns appearing in every nook and cranny of this place, indoors, on a balcony, on a tree, spread all over the road .... This impression has made a mark in the hearts of tourists that remember Hoi An lanterns immediately. Therefore, Hoi An has a couple of shops selling lanterns as souvenirs as well as traditional lantern factories.



Especially, the centuries-old lanterns are preserved by the long-lived families here and only displayed on the night of the flower festival. These lanterns are made from precious wood with elaborate carvings, and on each glass is a true painting. The famous fairy tales were painted by the ancient artisans on the glass, vivid and perfect as a valued painting. Every time it shines, the scene of white clouds, blue sky or clear water will constantly spin, reflecting the details on the glass.

Hoi An lanterns are quite diverse in shape as well as colors, which are circle lights, octagonal, hexagonal, pumpkin shaped, garlic bulbs, or shaped like a barrel, papaya, rice cakes,... There are also lanterns shaped like dragons and fish. Depending on the covering material, the lantern gives different types of light. It can be lucky red, cheerful yellow, brocade, luscious, or sweet blue.

The process of making lanterns is also quite elaborate and requires the dedication and skill of the worker. Bamboo must first be thoroughly soaked for 10 days with salt water to avoid termites, then dried, split and turned into thin slats depending on the size of each type of lantern. The spokes are attached to two wooden rings at the two ends which are then connected by parachute ropes. Finally, the handicraftsman will use the hand to make the lantern symmetric.

The kind of fabric which is usually used to make lanterns is a colorful or silk fabric, with a toughness so that when stretched it is not torn. First the fabric is cut into pieces depending on the size of the lantern, then glued to the lantern frame. When stretching the fabric it requires the workers to be extremely skillful to tension the corners in the curved sections. After finishing attaching the cloth, the worker will use scissors to prune, then use the hilt to attach to the lantern frame. The lampshade is made of artificial silk thread attached to a wooden ball.

Today, by the skillful hands of artisans making lanterns, HoiAn lanterns increasingly attract more and more tourists by the unique creativity in shaping as well as vivid images decorated on the face of the lantern . The patterns express the impressions of Hoi An in particular and Vietnam in general, such as lotus flowers, peach branches, apricot blossom, Vietnamese girls are charming in their long dresses, or mischievous features in the daily life of people such as people who are hiding the buffalo, the children are running kites and jumping…, these make the value of the lantern even more honored.


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