Traditional Festivals in Hoi An City

Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, has many traditional festivals. The top one is the full moon festivals organized every lunar month. Its main area is in Hoi An Ancient City.

festival in hoi an city
Hoi An has many colorful festivals with rich culture. ©Vietnamdrive

Hoi An legendary night

Held monthly from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm during the full moon of the lunar calendar, Hoi An legendary night is lit up by the moon, and multicolored lanterns are hung everywhere. Motorized vehicles and artificial lights are prohibited. Visitors can see the inhabitants of Hoi An go to and fro in traditional costumes. Many activities are also organized.

Young ladies recite poems in front of old houses, musicians gather in front of a family chapel to play traditional concert music, and young girls sing romantic melodies and sweet, lyrical folk songs accompanied by a 16-string guitar called a zither.

Boys and girls chant impromptu melodies while working, and combining with the crowd’s laugh and sounds, create a festive atmosphere that comes back to an ancient time, a time of revelry, peace, poetry, and beauty.

Lunar New Year

In the whole of Vietnam, the first days of the lunar New Year are very important. On the first days of the New Year, Hoi An inhabitants welcome it with many activities and organize traditional cultural festivals. Performances of many traditional dances like the four noble-animal dance, unicorn dance, and the dragon dance can be seen. Afterward, many people go to pagodas and shrines to pray for profit and wealth pay visits to one another, and enjoy house decorations, and traditional foods.

Nguyen Tieu Festival

On the 16th of Lunar January every year, people meet at the Trieu Chau and Quang Trieu assembly halls to make offerings and worship Nguyen Tieu and their ancestors in great style, attracting the participation of thousands of people from the region.

Cau Bong festival

Held in spring on the section of a river in Hoi An, nowadays often started from Tra Que Vegetable Village, the festival is an opening crop ceremony to wish for abundant crops and a happy and prosperous home and family. Junk races attracting thousands of sailors are held. The festival is held not only for the living but also for the dead. The more people who participate, the more souls of the departed can take part, as well.

Boat Race Festival

On the last Sunday of the third lunar month and at the beginning of the fourth lunar month on Cam An beach, Hoi An people organize boat races, music, and dramatic shows.

Festival of the Buddha’s Birthday

It is held on the 15th day of the 4th lunar month to celebrate The Buddha’s birthday, and also at the beginning of the New Year according to the Buddhist Calendar. Buddha’s disciples show their respect for Buddha and wish for peace, security, property, and security in the country. A lot of cultural and artistic activities are displayed and Buddhist disciples organize picnics to discuss Buddha’s theories.

Long Chu festival

Long Chu means Royal Barge. The Royal Barge Festival is held during the transition from summer to fall to expel plagues. After worship ceremonies, magicians cast spells to catch ghosts. Then, he along with the villagers put them into the river to drift off to the sea. In the villages, inhabitants stage musical and dramatic shows, sing, play games, and gather to enjoy meals.

Mid-Autumn festival

On the 14th and 15th of the eighth month of the lunar year, Hoi An organizes traditional cultural activities such as the mid-autumn party to enjoy the moonlight and watch the unicorn dance, the procession of lanterns, and music and song competitions. This festival is especially popular with children.

Vu Lan (Wandering Soul Day)

It is held on the fifteenth day of the seventh lunar month every year at the pagodas in Hoi An. It is the festival of Buddhist disciples to show gratitude to their departed parents. Oral tradition has it that Kien Muc Lien, at an early age, reached enlightenment. His wicked mother, upon her death, was forced to enter through all of hell’s 18 doors, each progressively more and more terrifying, to spend eternity being ill-treated by ghosts and devils, tortured by constant and excessive hunger. Seeing his mother’s plight and feeling torn by grief, Muc Lien used magic to bring food to his mother. But the demons tormented her, changing the food to fire just before it would reach her mouth.

Muc Lien implored Gautama Buddha for help. Buddha told him to hold a donation ceremony. Obeying the Budha, Muc Lien held a special ceremony called Vu Lan to pray for the pardon of his mother’s sins, and his prayers were granted. Vu Lan is a Day of Absolution of the Soul, especially for parents’ souls who may return home. During this season, there are many solemn ceremonies, including the floating lights on rivers at night to light the way for souls to find Nirvana.

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