Full Moon Lantern Festival Calendar

Hoi An Guide | Festivals in Vietnam

Updated July 2022.

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.

In addition, some years have thirteen full moon festivals, not twelve, if the first of these falls on the first day of the month and the month has 31 days. In 2023 for example, there is a full moon lantern festival in Hoi An on 1 July and 31 July.

For the Hoi An Full Moon Lantern Festival the organizers have taken some of the complications away and the celebration occurs on the 14th day of the lunar calendar, regardless of when the full moon actually occurs.

Thus, in the Gregorian Calendar, the festival occurs on the following dates:

Full Moon Lantern Festival Dates

16 January5 January24 January
14 February4 February23 February
16 March5 March23 March
14 April4 April22 April
14 May3 May21 May
12 June1 June19 June
12 July1 July & 31 July19 July
11 August29 August17 August
9 September28 September16 September
9 October28 October16 October
7 November26 November14 November
7 December26 December14 December

Written By
Stuart Neal

Former publisher at ABC Books and Consultant Publisher at Allen & Unwin in Australia, Stuart Neal is co-founder of the travel website, Hoi An Now.


  1. Wishing to know on which date in January 2023 I should experience this festival latern in Vietnam & exact location will be ?

  2. Hello,
    i´m planning to visit Hoi An on December 2022. and i would like to see the Lantern Festival . But i have a question, Is on 07 or 08Th DEC.
    I saw another websites that the date is 08DEC, now, im very confused if is on 07TH or 08TH DEC. Where can i check this information?
    Thank you so much.

  3. Hi, how are you?

    Thanks for the info, I have a couple of questions.

    We went to one of this “special events” in Hoi An, and there was nothing special. There was no difference between the 6th, the 7th and the 8th of December (2022) . Just the locals burned incense at the door of their houses and offered goods for the deaths. But nothing special about the lights/lanterns things. Did we miss something? What is the difference between these monthly events and a normal evening in Hoi An?

    It’s said there is a big big yearly event also called Full Moon Lantern Festival. What is it about? Does it have something special?


  4. Hello! Thank you so much for putting this info together. I am basing my Vietnam itinerary around making it in time for the full moon festival in Hoi An in May (in 2 weeks!). I will be there on 2nd and 3rd May nights, based on this calendar and some others I found online, however on some websites I saw it’s on 5th May! I really don’t want to miss it – please can you advise, are these dates fixed? Can I definitely expect it to be on 2nd or 3rd May or could it possibly end up being on the 5th?
    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Nilofar, Yes it can be confusing. It is true that the full moon actually falls on 5 May in 2023. But the Full Moon Lantern festival in Hoi An is ALWAYS on the 14th day of the lunar cycle whether or not the full moon falls on that day (the full moon is actually most often on the 15th and 16th days of the cycle). In May 2023 the 14th day of the lunar cycle falls on 3 May. On our post https://hoiannow.com/hoi-an-guide/festivals-in-vietnam/hoi-an-lantern-festival/ we have a full explanation as follows:

      Curiously, the Hoi An Lantern Festival is not always celebrated on the night of the full moon. To keep things simple it is always celebrated on the 14th day of the lunar calendar, which is usually just before the full moon.

      The exact date of the full moon changes because some lunar months are 29 days while others are 30 days. However, organizers in Hoi An have created uniformity for everyone by holding the festival on the 14th day of the lunar calendar each month, regardless of the full moon’s precise date.

      So, the bottom line is: in May 2023 the Full Moon Festival will be held on 3 May.

      • Hi Stuart,

        Thank you so much for your prompt reply, this has put my mind at ease! All the information makes much more sense now.
        Super excited to experience this rare opportunity!

        Thank you once again,

          • Hi Stuart,

            I have noticed in some websites its its 26th December 2023 and in some i have noticed 27th December 2023. which date is it exactly the lantern festival in the month of December 2023 . appreciate your help. thanks

          • The Hoi An Lantern Festival in December will be held on the 26th of December. The actual full moon is on the 27th of December, however. The lunar calendar is complicated but as we say in the post above: ‘For the Hoi An Full Moon Lantern Festival the organizers have taken some of the complications away and the celebration occurs on the 14th day of the lunar calendar, regardless of when the full moon actually occurs.’

  5. Looking at Sept or Oct keen to do full moon festival would it be better in sept less rain ?
    What happens if it’s flooding does it still go ahead ?

    • September has less rain than October and it rarely floods in September. If the Old Town is in full flood it is not possible for the festival to occur but this is rare.


Leave a Comment