Finding Love in Vietnam – Hoi An Water Lanterns

Hoi An is known as one of the most romantic places in Vietnam. In fact, according to an India-based Indiatimes Magazine, Hoi An has been listed as one of the world’s most romantic cites alongside with Paris, Galway, Ireland, Italy etc. The old-world charm offers world-class attractions including beaches and numerous of resorts for young couples, a perfect place for honeymoon.

As one of the major tourist routes, the ancient town of Hoi An provides tourists an authentic and rustic picture of the life of the Vietnamese. The name Hoi An refers to “the rendezvous of peace”, which echoes with the laidback atmosphere of the UNESCO World Heritage town. Especially during full-moon night, when lanterns would be lighted up at night and tourists would be able to send candles down the river as a popular custom for good luck. By the end of the evening, hundreds of colourful lanterns would be seen floating down the Thu Bon River.

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The originality of Lanterns Festival was a Chinese festival to honour the spirits. It dates back to more than 2000 years ago when Buddhism was budding in China. The lanterns, symbolising flowers, was released on the river to remove all sufferings. Each flower represents a prayer. Citizens send lanterns down the river to wish for a beautiful, peaceful and prosperous city. Of course, for couples, the boundless light could simply mean bringing luck to their marriage or relationship.

Different countries have different symbolistic meanings for lanterns. In most Asian weddings, the act of sending lights is an anticipated ritual during ceremonies. Newlyweds believe it is an indication of sending eternal love together. In Thailand, sending lights means sending your problems and worries away. If you offer a monk the candle lantern, you would most likely receive enlightenment, as in Buddhism, light will show your way to the knowledge of life. In Brazil however, lanterns are simply an activity to do during winter holidays when people release lanterns just for fun.

In early days, sending light is equivalent to finding love. Hopeless romantics send lanterns during Valentines day in hopes of finding a suitor in the coming year.