Lantern artisan in Hanoi

On the occasion of the Mid-Autumn Festival, Mr.Sinh (Hanoi) scrapes bamboo rafts to sell lanterns throughout the province, with the desire for children to play traditional, non-toxic toys.

Each Mid-Autumn Festival, Mr. Sinh’s family makes lanterns. Ms. Nguyen Thi Thuy, the daughter-in-law of Sinh, is finishing the frame. There are two types of frames, bamboo poles attached to poluya cover can be played in a week and the other type made from wood and fabric has longer using time.

Since the age of 8, Vu Van Sinh has made himself a lantern for the children and their friends. Growing up in the Dan Vien village (Cao Vien Commune, Thanh Oai district, Hanoi), with Mid-Autumn lantern-making career, Mr.Sinh always loves and attaches to this job.

The hardest thing in making lantern is the shaft and the spinning wheel for the lanterns. The shaft was made from bamboo pieces, enough light to spin, enough hard to keep the picture won’t be spilled. The bamboo frames will be wrapped around by poluya paper. The artisans must use paper glue to cover the frame, there is only a space to place the candle.

Sinh artist is gluing and aligning the frame, also known as the ventilation. This ventilation helps to make a circle of bamboo and bamboo stick to the eye-catching shapes. When the candle is lit, the fire will warm the air inside and cause a temperature difference with the outside to create winds through the gap of the flash and make the images turn around. Their shadows are projected onto the lively outside of the film like watching movies.

The images on the lanterns often show the patriotic spirit, the national pride, as the generals in the battle, the glorious status of honor, the four dancing …

“The artisans are very concerned about the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival products such as lanterns and others that are less prominent in the market. On the full moon of July every year, my family started making lanterns.”- said the 55-year-old artist.

The last step is decorating the lanterns colorfully. Lantern posts are wrapped in colored paper. Gold-plated gold foil engraving for stickers on the head and feet of the posts. Ms. Nguyen Thi Hanh, his wife, went up to Hang Ma to buy these materials for decoration.

Mr. Sinh’s nephew, 7-year-old boy Vu Van Hoang, is helping him to make lanterns. Hoang is checking with his grandfather for the last time the newly completed product.

The Sinh family has been making lanterns for decades with the way and the materials are almost unchanged. “I do because I want to keep family tradition, not consider business,” Sinh said.

On average, each member of Mr. Sinh’s family can complete two lanterns a day. Price depends on size, small ones cost 150,000 VND. Every Autumn season, Mr. Sinh’s house produce hundreds of lights throughout the province.

Credit: VNEpress
Translator: Hanh Chan

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