Making a Lantern in Hoi An (Sort of)

If you have been to the Vietnamese coastal city of Hoi An, you will know its famous for its Lanterns. The abundance of lanterns started as part of a festival to promote good luck. The local people celebrated this festival on every full moon.

After the Vietnamese government opened its borders to additional tourism in or around 1997, Hoi An took off in popularity. Since about 2013, this once sleepy city started to see an even more significant growth of tourism and income. And that is for a good reason; it is beautiful here, and the lanterns add to that in spades!

The Lanterns of Hoi An are made of silk and adorn just about everything. They are in the trees, on the streets, on the art, on shirts, and in shops. It’s no wonder that tourists will want to learn how to make these glowing balls of happiness they see everyplace.

 

 

Here to experience culture, my friend Fredrica and I set out to make a lantern the other day.

The Making A Lantern in Hoi An Experience

We all have this Pie in the Sky visions of what something will be like. I thought we would be bending and shaping our lanterns, making Frankstine like creations that would fill us with more respect for the craft. The experience I got was more like a “paint by numbers” art class.

 

The making a lantern in Hoi An process went like this.

  • Come in and sit down.
  • The shop gives you a pre-made frame.
  • You have a selection of fabric (about six colors to pick from)
  • The shop will then cut the fabric into strips.
  • You will then glue the fabric down on to the frame with duck glue, three stays at a time.
  • The shop will fix any errors in your work.
  • Then you are done.
  • Cost: 120,000 VND.
  • Estimated time about: 30 -45 minutes.

Sparrow thoughts:

Don’t get me wrong; I did have fun making a lantern in Hoi An. I did learn new ideas and can see how to some people that may not be significantly versed in handcrafts; or those out on a date looking for something fun too; this would be a good challenge.

The person who helped us was also just AMAZING. She was very kind and thoughtful. If only for the chance to meet and talk with a local about life, the 120,000 VDN fees are worth it.

While making a Lantern in Hoi An, two other tourists on vacation also joined us. Thye kicked butt too as well. Meeting other people outside of a bar is another good reason to do an experience like this, you meet other exceptional people.

If you are looking for an in-depth lesson on the art of lantern-making, I suggest you search beyond the lantern shops for a class. If you are looking for a lite (*Pun intended) evening activity to spend the night, then I recommend you try one of the classes.