The most wonderful time of the year approaches

December 24, 2022 - 09:00

With over seven million Christians, the Vietnamese Christian community is the 5th most populous in Asia, making Christmas an indispensable holiday.

HÀ NỘI — One of the most important worldwide holidays, Christmas, has never failed to attract people with various ways to celebrate in many countries all over the world, including Việt Nam.

The Vietnamese Christian community with over seven million followers is the 5th most populous in Asia, making Christmas an indispensable holiday. However, thanks to the economic development and the influence of Western culture over the last decades, the holiday is no longer celebrated by Christ followers only, but also by non-believers.

A woman takes a photo of babies in Christmas-themed costumes at the Hàm Long Church in Hà Nội. — VNS Photo Trương Vị

The Xmas atmosphere first hit the streets in Hà Nội and HCM City in late November, with many shops choosing to put up their festive decorations, such as Xmas trees, Santa Claus figures, bells and lights. In addition, Xmas outfit for children also is one of the best-selling items during the occasion.

An outstanding tourist sightseeing spot in Hà Nội's centre, thousands of people, including foreign tourists, flock to the St Joseph's Cathedral every day, especially during the Christmas and festive season. — VNS Photo Trương Vị

The gift-giving tradition on the festive season also has been adapted for non-believers for the last decades. Days before Xmas, it is common to see motorbike-taxi drivers whose parents have paid to dress up in Santa Claus costume to deliver gifts to children.  

A young couple poses for a selfie in front of the St Joseph's Cathedral in Hà Nội. — VNS Photo Trương Vị

For Christians, celebrating Xmas Eve in a church is an indispensable tradition. Decorations were set up during December with a big nativity scene with life-sized statues of Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the shepherds and animals from almost every major church, such as the Notre Dame Cathedral in HCM City or St Joseph Cathedral in Hà Nội.

On this occasion, all churches nationwide often welcome numerous visitors. There are also sparkling lighting decorations on trees on the streets and in front of houses, turning particular places into Christmas areas. — VNS

People in HCM City shop at the market selling Christmas costumes and decorations. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vũ


A group of foreign tourists visit the Phát Diệm stone church in Ninh Bình Province, which has been decorated to prepare for Christmas. — VNA/VNS Photo Thùy Dung