Stunning Hanoi Mid-Autumn Festival Illumination for Picture Perfect Memories

As the Mid-Autumn Festival nears, the city is abuzz with anticipation, brightened by the colorful display of lanterns. This joyous occasion is one of the most looked-forward to events of the year.


As the Mid-Autumn Festival approaches (the 15th day of the eighth Lunar month or September 29), the capital’s streetlights create captivating scenes for locals and tourists.

Reviving Autumn Tradition in the City

One such scene is the fun-filled Thu Xua Ve Trong Pho (Reliving Autumn Tradition in the City) festival, held at Ngon Garden Restaurant since September 23.

Hanh Pham, founder of Ngon Garden, explained that in the past, children were eager to play with star-shaped lanterns during the Full Moon Festival. To help people and children understand the meaning of this festival, Hanh has organized a special event to recreate the traditions of the past and present.

Children enjoying the Mid-Autumn Festival at Ngon Garden.

This year, Ngon Garden is adorned with thousands of traditional lanterns, creating a magical atmosphere. Hanh had to order these lanterns three months in advance from various craft villages in the northern provinces. To meet the demand, additional lanterns were ordered from Ho Chi Minh City and flown in just days before the festival. Lanterns in the shapes of animals such as carp, phoenix, unicorn, and rabbit decorate the street.

Iron ship, a valuable toy of Hanoi children in the 20th century.

In addition to the lanterns, a traditional market corner has been recreated, showcasing handicrafts, toy figurines, and traditional Hanoi toys that are nearly a hundred years old. These toys include an iron boat that can run on water, which used to fascinate children in the past.

Visitors can also travel back in time by dressing up in traditional long robes provided by Ngon Garden and taking photos in the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival room.

Shimmering Autumn Lights

The Thang Long-Hanoi Heritage Conservation Center is organizing the Shimmering Autumn Lights Mid-Autumn Festival at the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. The festival features various engaging activities.

Lanterns displayed at the Thang Long Imperial Citadel.

The program includes reconstructed lantern models contributed by foreign scholars and cultural researchers, as well as traditional paper puppets, paper mache masks, folk drums, and sculptured figurines made from colored rice dough. Interactive workshops are also available to teach traditional toy-making techniques.

Old Town Lit Up

Hang Ma Street, known for its vibrant lanterns and decorations, is a favorite spot for festival-goers. A festival will be held along Hang Ma Street, as well as other areas in Hoan Kiem District, featuring cultural and artistic performances, folk games, lantern processions, and a fruit bowl arrangement contest.

Hang Ma Street decorated for the Mid-Autumn Festival

The festival aims to preserve and promote the cultural value of the Old Quarter and create a community-based cultural space. The opening ceremony features lion dances, puppet shows, and children’s songs and dances.

Experiential Activities

The Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam Cultural and Scientific Activity Center is hosting a series of experiential activities under the theme of “Carp Watching the Moon” until October 1. One of the highlights is the “Carp Jumping the Dragon’s Gate” competition, symbolizing the hope for academic success. Visitors can also participate in interactive activities to learn about the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival and make moon cakes, star-shaped lanterns, and sculptured figurines.

Children learning to make moon cakes at the Temple of Literature

The event aims to promote the capital’s heritage and raise awareness about preserving and promoting traditional cultural values. It also includes a book fair to encourage reading.