Where the Wild Things Dance: Exploring the Mid-Autumn Festival
For the first time in months there is a chill in the air. The unpredictable rains of September keep the people of Hoi An in tune with nature, sensitive to the changing seasons. The recently harvested rice fields are still smoldering in the distance, the smoky haze floating in over the street like an apparition.
The Hungry Ghosts Festival and the 7th Lunar Month
At the beginning of the 7th lunar month I lost my ATM card and my office manager said, “that’s normal’. She quickly added: ‘you’ll be lucky if that’s all that happens to you.’ She herself had just had her helmet stolen and was resigned to it. ‘I need to be much more careful this month – the hungry ghosts, the forlorn ones with no family, the sinners are all around,’ she added as she pulled a visitor’s bike inside the gate for safe-keeping and checked the lock on the side door.
Tet, Tet, Tet, Tet, Den Roi (Tet Has Arrived)
Tet, or New Year in Vietnam, is 16 February in 2018. On that date we leave the Year of the Rooster behind and usher in the Year of the Dog.
A First-Timer’s Guide to Tet
This quick guide to Tet in Hoi An is for for those who haven’t been before. But before jumping into the tips and advice let’s set the scene a little.
Tet Food Delicacies
You might have heard of the special Tet food that Vietnamese prepare to eat and offer to guests during the Tet holidays: Banh Chung and Banh Day.
Vietnamese Zodiac: The Dark Side
Ever wonder why zodiacs all over the world only have good things to say about everyone? Even faults are seen as positives as everyday reality goes out the window. You have to wonder where all the misery, war and poverty in the world comes from when reading these ‘fairy tale’-like descriptions where everybody is smart, compassionate and talented. This is a good marketing ploy that sucks in readers but it’s not much use to anyone.
3rd Cam Ha Kumquat Festival 2018
Cam Ha, just 1.5kms out of Hoi An city center, hosts a Kumquat Tree Festival every year. It takes place approximately three weeks before Vietnam’s greatest Festival celebrating the Lunar New Year (Tet).
Spring into the New Year: Tet in Hoi An
The Vietnamese new year, or Tết Nguyên Đán (commonly shortened to ‘Tet’), is the biggest event on the Vietnamese calendar. Also referred to as the ‘Spring Festival’ to typically mark the beginning of Spring, Tet is a grand affair, filled with ceremony, tradition, family reunions, and, of course, food. It falls at the same time as Chinese New Year (in correlation to the lunar calendar) however there are various Tet customs that are unique to Vietnam.
Quang Nam Province Ethnic Festival in Hoi An, 2018
Running throughout 2018, the Quang Nam Province Ethnic Festival in Hoi An is organized by the Quang Nam Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the People’s Committee of Hoi An city and six mountainous districts of Quang Nam: Nam Giang, Tay Giang, Dong Giang, Phuoc Son, Nam Tra My and Bac Tra My. The event is also co-organized and sponsored by FIDR Japan, a Hoi An based French photographer Réhahn and Anantara Hoi An Resort.
Hoi An’s Full Moon Lantern Festival
Many tourists and visitors flock to Hoi An’s Old Town to see the candle lit river and smell the incense on the breeze for the Lantern Festival. The festival falls on the night of the full moon, a sacred time for the heady Buddhist/Confucian mixture in Vietnam and Ancient Hoi An provides the perfect setting for this monthly celebration.
The Lunar Calendar and the Full Moon Lantern Festival
Although the moon takes 27.3 days to orbit the earth it takes 29.5 days to complete its phases (because the earth is moving too). This makes it a bit tricky to nail down exactly on which date a full moon occurs, even in the lunar calendar. To cope with this some lunar months are 29 days and some are 30 days. In the wash-up the full moon usually occurs on the 15th or 16th day of each lunar month but not always.
The Sixth Quang Nam Heritage Festival
The sixth Quang Nam Heritage Festival is a feast of music, sport, food, history, ethnic diversity and multi-cultural history. Major events will be held in Tam Ky, Hoi An, My Son and various regional districts.