Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Demand for Vietnamese-made lanterns for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival has increased sharply from previous years.
Artisans from Phú Bình lantern village in HCM City’s District 11 have almost completed wholesalers’ orders with two weeks to go for the festival, which falls on September 24 this year.
Demand is up significantly this year, especially for traditional cellophane lanterns, they said.
Prices are up VNĐ1,000-2,000 from last year, they said.
“But despite the higher prices, demand is very positive, which shows that Vietnamese consumers have returned to the traditional cellophane product,” an artisan at the village said.
Among the most popular items this year are lanterns made from cellophane or plastic in the shape of fish, chicken and rabbit.
The wholesale price of cellophane lanterns is VNĐ18,000-VNĐ19,000 and plastic lanterns is VNĐ13,500.
According to other lantern producers, sales of traditional lanterns have been very good this year. With many of them only preparing to make similar volumes as previous years, they were taken by surprise by the demand and quickly ran out of raw materials, they said.
Traditional lanterns for the Mid-Autumn Festival on display at a supermarket in HCM City. — VNS Photo
In addition to star-shaped and other traditional cellophane lanterns this year there are many new designs based on children’s favourite cartoon and comic strip characters.
“We supply nearly 40 kinds of lanterns, including those looking like deer, bee, butterfly, sunflower, sun, chicken, and characters from films,” a wholesale distributor in Gò Vấp District said.
The Chinese lanterns that used to dominate the market are also available and still with their eye-catching designs.
According to traders, Chinese lanterns are more beautiful than Vietnamese ones, but many parents are opting to buy the latter for their kids because of the notorious reputation of Chinese products.
Thanh Lâm, a trader in District 6, said: “Chinese products have flooded the Vietnamese market for many years. Most mid-autumn lanterns in the market are made in China.
“But Vietnamese consumers have returned to locally-made lanterns.”
Hồ Thị Như Thủy, who was choosing a lantern for her daughter at a shop on Hai Bà Trưng Street in District 1, said: “I always choose traditional lanterns because candles are safer than the electric lanterns.”
According to a Saigon Co.op spokesperson all lanterns sold at Co.opmart and Co.opXtra this year are locally made, resemble popular characters, are powered by batteries and come with traditional music.
They cost VNĐ14,900-VNĐ150,000 depending on the size and materials.
Besides mooncakes, lanterns are one of the most popular items sold during the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. — VNS