The Lunar Calendar and the Full Moon Lantern Festival

Hoi An Guide | Festivals in Vietnam

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.

For the Hoi An Full Moon Lantern Festival the organizers have taken all 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:

Lantern Festival and Real Full Moon Dates for 2020

LANTERN FESTIVALLUNAR FULL MOONGREGORIAN FULL MOON
8 January16 (12th month 2019)10 January
7 February16 (1st month)9 February
7 March16 (2nd month)9 March
6 April16 (3rd month)8 April
6 May15 (4th month)7 May
5 June14 (4th Month)5 June
4 July15 (5th month)5 July
3 August14 (6th month)3 August
1 September15 (7th month)2 September
30 September15 (8th month)1 October
30 October15 (9th month)31 October
28 November16 (10th month)30 November
28 December17 (11th month)30 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.

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