Christmas in Vietnam: A detailed guide to holiday preparation in December
- on Nov 30, 2023       By: Japon
The global observance of the Christmas spirit extends to Vietnam as well. Although Vietnam is primarily a Buddhist nation, it celebrates Christmas in a distinctive manner, incorporating the spirit of pleasure and festivity. The dynamic nature of Vietnamese culture, along with the impact of Western customs, has resulted in a captivating Christmas experience. This post will go into the captivating realm of Christmas in Vietnam.
1. Is Christmas celebrated as a public holiday in Vietnam?
2. Christmas in Vietnam
2.1 History of Christmas in Vietnam
2.2 Christmas customs and popular activities in Vietnam
3. Christmas market in Vietnam
4. The 6 most well-known Vietnamese churches getting into the Christmas spirit
As December approaches, the air in Vietnam gets filled with a festive atmosphere. While Christmas is not a federal holiday, its significance is felt throughout the country. Christmas lights flood the streets, children excitedly await Santa Claus' arrival, and families gather to celebrate this amazing occasion.
Contrary to popular belief, Vietnam observes not only the Lunar New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival but also other significant celebrations. The Vietnamese Christian community ranks as the fifth largest in Asia, boasting a population of approximately 7 million adherents. This is the reason why Christmas holds great importance as a festival in Vietnam.
During the 16th century, Christianity was brought to Vietnam by missionaries hailing from Portugal, Spain, and France. Despite facing numerous challenges throughout history, Christians and Catholics in Vietnam have successfully maintained their religious beliefs and continue to celebrate Christmas every year. This has turned Christmas into a widely celebrated event across the country, with a variety of captivating activities.
The colonial history of Vietnam is a significant determinant in influencing the manner in which Christmas is observed in the country. Vietnam was formerly under French colonial administration, during which the French developed and popularized Christmas traditions. The enduring impact of French colonization is seen in the contemporary Vietnamese Christmas traditions.
In Vietnam, as in other nations around the world, there are numerous methods to celebrate Christmas. Let's have a look at some of the most popular activities for Vietnamese people to commemorate this well-known holiday!
2.2.1 Advent Season and Christmas Preparations
The Vietnamese people eagerly await and get ready for Christmas during the Advent season. It starts four weeks before Christmas on the fourth Sunday. Prepare for the impending festivities by decking out your home with decorations and stocking up on party essentials.
2.2.2 Decorate the house with Christmas trees and figures.
In Vietnam, the Christmas tree is a highly favored decoration during the Christmas season. It is adorned with a variety of vibrant ornaments, including Santa Claus figurines, bells, and lights.These objects are not only utilized for home adornment, but are also frequently observed in public spaces and retail malls, as Vietnamese individuals have a tendency to congregate in these areas throughout this festive season.
Various retail malls and urban areas are embellished with appealing decorations, which contribute to the creation of a joyful ambiance.
2.2.3 Midnight Mass and Church Celebrations
Participating in Midnight Mass holds great importance for Vietnamese Catholics. On Christmas Eve, churches nationwide conduct special midnight services that frequently draw sizable congregations. Individuals gather to engage in carol singing, listen to the Christmas narrative, and commemorate the nativity of Jesus.
2.2.4 Savor Christmas cuisine in Vietnam
Christmas is observed in Vietnam similarly to any other festival, with an assortment of traditional dishes. Concurrently with regional delicacies, traditional Christmas fare from various regions is savored, including poultry soup and turkey.
A multitude of food vendors and restaurants remain operational throughout this celebratory period, as the Vietnamese populace frequently opts for dining out instead of organizing intimate family gatherings.
2.2.5 Exchanging Gifts and Charity
In Vietnam, as in numerous other nations, the exchange of gifts is an essential component of Christmas festivities. Families and acquaintances exchange gifts as an expression of appreciation and affection. Moreover, a significant number of organizations and individuals participate in acts of charity to assist those who are less fortunate, in keeping with the holiday spirit.
3.1 Hanoi Christmas market
The biggest Christmas market in Hanoi will be held at The 100 Garden this December. When it comes to Christmas markets, this one in Tay Ho has been going strong for longer than any other. There were more than 3,000 people there last year!
We love Christmas, and a Christmas market just makes the season more magical.
Visit The 100 Garden for all of your shopping needs! Everything you could possibly want or need is here, with over 40 vendors representing all around Vietnam and live music from some of Hanoi's best performers. To top it all off, Santa Claus will be stopping by to put you in the holiday spirit.
3.2 Ho Chi Minh Christmas Market
Mid-November is a time of enchantment and astonishment across Europe, as Christmas markets proliferate in every direction. The Consulates General of France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and the Netherlands will organize a philanthropic Christmas market in the gardens of the French Residence on November 25, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., in order to spread holiday cheer throughout Ho Chi Minh City.
For a singular occasion, the French Residence's gardens shall be accessible to the general public. The gardens will be magically transformed for one evening, permeated by the aroma of traditional Christmas pastries and mulled wine. In addition, choirs will perform traditional Christmas melodies.
A diverse assortment of seasonal gifts and ornaments crafted by European artisans will be on hand. Children have the opportunity to engage in enjoyable activities that impart knowledge about European traditions and cultures. Additionally, they will be given the chance to ride an equine!
Families, acquaintances, and couples who wish to spend time together and celebrate the holiday season should attend this event. Everything involved anticipates a delightful afternoon and evening.
This European Christmas market requires a per-person financial donation of 30,000 VND for admission. Five Vietnamese charitable organizations will receive the entirety of the market's proceeds: Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe e.V., E-ducare, Ho Chi Minh Heart Institute, Mái ấm Bà Chiểu, and Sống Foundation.
To truly appreciate the holiday season in Vietnam this Christmas, be sure to visit some of the country's most renowned churches. The following are the five most renowned cathedrals in Vietnam that you should not forget during your Christmas vacation.
4.1. Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral - Ho Chi Minh City
Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral is located in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in the Paris Commune Square. It is a revered landmark among local inhabitants, foreign Christians from Vietnam, and both groups. Despite being in use for nearly 160 years, the cathedral in Saigon remains an important place of worship for an estimated 6.2 million Catholics. It also garners a substantial influx of tourists, especially during the Christmas season in Vietnam.
Location: Cong Xa Paris Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
4.2. Tan Dinh Church - Ho Chi Minh City
The Tan Dinh Church, situated in Ho Chi Minh City, shares a notable reputation with the Chicken Church in Da Nang due to its arresting pink exterior. Particularly during the Christmas season, this magnificent example of Gothic architecture is a must-see for both religious individuals and photography enthusiasts.
Location: Hai Ba Trung Street, Ward 8, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
4.3. St. Joseph's Cathedral - Hanoi City
Location: 40 Nha Chung Street, Hang Trong Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
St. Joseph's Cathedral, which was completed in 1886, was among the French's earliest examples of church architecture. Located to the west of Hoan Kiem Lake, this location has served as a backdrop to momentous historical occurrences and turning points in the capital city of Vietnam.
4.4. Chicken Church - Da Nang City
Location : 156 Tran Phu, Hai Chau district, Da Nang.
The Chicken Church, another structure built by the French in Da Nang City, is noteworthy. It is identified by a variety of names. The structure, originally designated Da Nang Cathedral, has gained the moniker "Pink Church" owing to its distinctive pink exterior. Furthermore, it is commonly referred to as the Sacred Heart Church of Jesus or the Tourane Church. Particularly favored by the youth, this extraordinary architectural marvel becomes a focal point during festive periods such as Christmas in Vietnam.
4.5. Nha Trang Cathedral - Khanh Hoa Province
Location : 31 Thai Nguyen, Phuoc Tan, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa
Nha Trang is a widely recognized tourist attraction renowned for its picturesque maritime panoramas and enticing amenities. Furthermore, it is highly recommended to visit the chapels in this vicinity, especially Nha Trang Cathedral, which is renowned for its magnificent architecture. Constructed by the French in the 1880s, the church is notable for its historical and cultural significance, rendering it an enthralling destination for travelers, particularly amid the Christmas season in Vietnam. When celebrating Christmas in Nha Trang, it is recommended that guests remain at Vinpearl Nha Trang in order to maximize their holiday experience.
4.6. Phat Diem Cathedral -Ninh Binh Province
Location : 33VH+5QQ, Định Hoà, Kim Sơn, Ninh Bình
The most magnificent Catholic church complex in Vietnam is the Phat Diem Pilgrimage Center (or Phat Diem Stone Church), located in Phat Diem town, Kim Son district, Ninh Binh province. During the days preceding Christmas, this location is exquisitely and brilliantly decorated, drawing tens of thousands of visitors.
Related article :
on 29 Feb, 2024
on 28 Feb, 2024
on 25 Feb, 2024