On Wednesday evening, the lighting system on Nguyen Phuc Chu Street was turned off, allowing the fullest moon of the year to bathe it in natural light. Typically, all the shops that line the street would have bright red lanterns of various shapes and sizes hanging out front, a uniquely charming feature of the ancient town. With most of the shops remaining closed courtesy of pandemic blues, the street wore a lonely look. For many Vietnamese, the Mid-Autumn Festival is the second most important festival after the Lunar New Year holiday (Tet). Locals celebrate the event on lunar August 15 (October 1 this year) or one day earlier. On Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, the center of Hoi An, very few lanterns were lit, and the street itself was deserted, missing the usual tourist crowds. The iconic Pagoda Bridge, a Hoi An symbol, shone in the darkness of surrounding streets. On the Hoai River, every year hundreds of boats were decorated with lanterns to serve visitors wanting to float colored lanterns and garlands of flowers in a traditional ritual praying for peace and happiness. However, there were very few boats docked at the wharf Wednesday. The second Covid-19 outbreak in the… Read full this story
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