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Hoi An Festivals

Madam Thu Bon Festival (12th of the 2nd lunar month)

Every year, the population of Thu Bon organizes a festival in honor of Madam Thu Bon, also called Madam Bobo. Ceremonies, boat races and “hat boi” (Vietnamese traditional opera) performances take place.

Long Chu Festival (15th of the 7th lunar month)

This festival of the boatmen living around Hoi An is believed to hold back epidemics and diseases in the transition of a season. It takes place in the communal house or in the administration house of the village.

Long Chu is a royal boat, a symbol of divinity able to scare away epidemics and diseases. Therefore, the festival includes a procession to carry a royal bamboo-structured boat and fabric-paper elephant from the communal house to the river wharf and the launching of rafts and boats into the river and sea.

Before the festival, sorcerers set up an incense table and perform exorcism. Accompanying them is a procession of young folks holding spears and scimitars in order to clean up village roads and bushes, while singing alternate songs cheerfully. On the main festive day, the religious chief conducts a sacrificial service. After that, a procession begins to carry the royal boat around the village to drive away evil spirits, epidemics and diseases.

On festive days, there are often bo, “ho khoan”, “xo co” singing performances and folk games. Local people flock to the festival, turning it into a jubilant event.

Cau Ngu Festival (1st of the April – by solar calendar)

The festival used to take place annually on a fine spring day on the Hoi An River, near Cua Dai estuary. Recently, its date has been changed to April 1st in commemoration of President Ho Chi Minh’s visit to a fishing village in Hoi An.

Cau Ngu Festival convey the fishermen’s aspiration for bumper fish catches in the New Year to the Genie and Genie – Whale. The festival starts with solemn rituals, followed by traditional games and art performances such as singing and dancing, tug-of-war, boat racing and so on.

Boat racing is an activity very typical of the people of Hoi An, and the coastal areas in general. It takes place at the yearly festival of Cau Ngu (Praying for fish). It is very animated and exciting, and it attracts many professional boat teams in the locality, as well as pilgrims. The race is not only a competition of talents but also a great event of sacred character, in which the local people pray for favorable weather, peace and prosperity.

During your stay in Hoi An, you will have chance to leisurely walk around this ancient town at night, participate in the space of a Hoi An night with the colorful light of decorative multi-colored lanterns, as well as enjoy the ancient town of Hoi An with no sounds of vehicles (on Mondays, Wednesday and Saturday from 8.00 am – 11.00 am, 02.00 pm – 04.00 pm and 6.30 pm – 9.00 pm)


(Source: vietnamtourism.com)