Hoi An Fairy Tale Atmosphere (Hoi An, Vietnam)
Strolling through the lantern-lit streets is like walking into a fairytale. It is all the more picturesque since motor vehicles are banned from Hoi An's Old Quarter.
Hoi An people are very proud of their lanterns. Old bamboo soaked ten days in salt water is used to protect against insects, then dried and shaped. Cloth must be silk and must be tough enough for stretching. The lantern making process requires good skills and lots of patience. The materials are natural: 100 percent silk, bamboo frames and wool tassels. The colours, the shapes and the patterns on silk are meaningful. These beautiful handmade silk lanterns are the combination between the beauty of Vietnamese silk and the high skills of Vietnamese people. Hoi An's old-fashioned charm is always visible.
On the 15th of every lunar month modernity takes another step back. On these evenings the town turns off its street lamps and fluorescent lights, leaving the Old Quarter bathed in the warm glow of coloured silk lanterns, glass lanterns and paper lanterns. Lanterns are hanging on the altar of each Hoi An family. Lanterns light up every corner of the town when there are traditional opera performances, poem readings and chess competitions during monthly full moon Festivals.