Lantern Festival (Tet Nguyen Tieu), Hoi An

hoi-anThis is one of important Tet holidays in Hoi An local communities, especially for Chinese people. Tet Nguyen Tieu (the first full moon of a new year) is the festival that originates from Chinese to be adopted in Vietnam and becomes an official festival of Vietnamese.

Nguyen means “first”, Tieu is “night”. Tet Nguyen Tieu is the first night of a full moon year (full moon day of the lunar January). According to old story of the Chinese Tet Nguyen Tieu also known as Tet Thuong Nguyen, in old days, on the first night of the full moon every year, Trang Nguyen is usually summoned to the capital for the feast, enjoy the moon, make poetry in royal garden by the King. Originating from Western Han Dynasty in China, we also carried out a beautiful and solemn ritual of lantern parade on that day. Therefore, Tet Nguyen Tieu is also called Lantern Festival. Attending this festival, travelers are expected to be lost in a colorful and twinkling space created by hundreds of lanterns in diversified size, shapes and colors that is the best way to enjoy and experience the special culture of the region.

For Chinese communities in Hoi An (especially for Hoa Minh Huong people, who are in the the states of Chaozhou, Guangdong), Tet Nguyen Tieu Festival not only brings pure fun but also have great spiritual meaning: worshipping the predecessor of talent people , just pray for a good life, to be safe and comfortably off and favourable for trading.

This is also the day people believe to be blessed for good fortune in life to everyone on earth so that people have to sacrifice for peace and organize entertainment festival for preparation of the work in the new year with good expectations that everything will go smoothly in the upcoming year. For such reason, the Chinese community in Hoi An, held this festival in a very large scale with solemnity, lasting from two to three days, bring children from many places together and attract many people to attend that becomes a major festival of the Chinese people in the area.

Most of people in Vietnam believe that the first full moon in a year on lunar calendar of January 15th is the most important one throughout a year. People mostly go to the pagoda to pray for a good luck, health, safety for themselves, their beloved people or their friends.

Furthermore, there are many activities to be organized in the day will serve the tourists a perfect night of the festival. In addition to the chess games, beating pots, martial arts demonstrations, playing “bai choi” art, calligraphy demonstration, the tourists can also enjoy many kinds of folk songs from Quang region, poetry reading, yacht on Huai river and have the opportunity to enjoy the cuisine of Hoi An specialties such as Cao Lau, Quang noodles, cauldron cakes, steamed rice cake, etc.

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