Christmas celebration in Vietnam is one of the most anticipated despite being a predominantly Buddhist country. Here’s what you need to know!
The country is largely populated by Buddhist practitioners however, this was never a hindrance for Christmas celebration in Vietnam.
Locals from the main cities in the country merrily join convivial events and take part in decorating . Every corner and streets, establishments and notable buildings are accentuated with elaborative Yuletide season decorations from Christmas trees, a variety of snowflakes, colorful ribbons and balls.
Not to mention the striking neon lights that add to the festivities around the country. Christmas songs flood the streets, restaurants and hotels along with their Christmas sales and discount announcements – the perfect time to shop till you drop!
In Hanoi, the temperature drops to a certain level which allows everyone to check their wardrobes for the best OOTD (Outfit of The Day) winter collection.
The local Catholic churches are decorated with gaily covered nativity scenes and fairy lights. Notable huge churches such as the Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City or Saint Joseph Cathedral (the Big Church) in Hanoi display a noticeable nativity crib scene or ‘creche’ with life-sized statues of Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the shepherds and animals.
Expect that church services across the country are extended to accommodate any church-goers.
It might come in as a surprise but Christmas is considered one of the four main annual religious festivals in Vietnam – the Lunar New Year, the mid-autumn festival, Buddha’s birthday and well, Christmas. However, Christmas Eve is deemed more significant than Christmas day.
This is where imposing yet cordial parties are held allowing locals to mingle and celebrate Christmas eve with friends and loved ones with different colors and beliefs.
Christians across Vietnam go to church for the Midnight Mass and return home to a hearty chicken soup shared with the family.
In Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, people tend to gather at the city center where the cathedral stands and cars are not allowed. Children in Vietnam are greatly excited because they believe in Santa Clause and put their shoes in front of their doors on Christmas Eve, expecting to have their shoes stuffed in with goodies from Santa’s bulging sack on the morning of 25th December.