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Although Christmas is not an official festival in Vietnam, Vietnamese can not seem to stop themselves from making it amazing. Today, Christmas in Vietnam is greeted by both Christian community and the locals, especially in big cities like Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City. Christmas celebration lasts 2 days: the Christmas’ Eve on 24th December and the following day. It is celebrated as the birthday of Jesus Christ, known here as “Kito”.
A few week before Christmas’ Eve, you can easily see many hotels, restaurants, malls, stores and big buildings are decorated Christmas trees and sparkling ornaments, which makes foreign tourists feel like they are at home. Some shopping malls offer special promotion campaigns to boost sales.
#1 Go to the church on Christmas Eve
Not many people in Vietnam are Christians, but some people like to go to the church in order to join the Chirstmas party or to hear Christmas music such as the Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City or Saint Joseph Cathedral (the Big Church) in Hanoi. They come to the church to listen to Christian Hymns and watch the Nativity plays. And when the ceremony is over, everyone goes to the city center where music shows held for Christmas.
#2 Buy a Santa outfit and sing carols
Forget about dark-colored clothes — it’s time for white, red, green, yellow or many other colors. You can easily get complete Santa outfits for under $20 which were sold in every corner of the streets. You’ll also be amazed by how many Christmas carols Vietnamese know, even though the holiday isn’t actually celebrated. While they might not understand the words, they’ll sure belt them out with you. There’s nothing quite like singing Jingle Bells, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, etc in a crowded seafood restaurant on the beach or in any coffee shops all over the country.
#3 Giving gifts
Before Christmas Eve, young Vietnamese people often present their friends and relatives beautiful and cute Christmas cards, small gifts, or just simple but meaningful messages via email or phones and exchange best wishes. Christmas is also an occasion for social charity organizations to hold programs of delivering gifts to orphanage children, the elder, the homeless, the poor, and the disable. These programs have vthe participations of young volunteers who will act as “Santa Claus” and bring gifts to orphans, hospitals and community houses.
#4 Take a photo
Christmas is one of the most wonderful time of the year so that you will find decorated and lighted trees, as well as Santa’s everywhere. Taking a photo to save beautiful mermories with family members, lovers and friends is something which very meaningful.
Merry Christmas in Vietnamese is “Chúc Mừng Giáng Sinh”! Today, Christmas is one of the major festivals in Vietnam and celebrated with much enthuisiasm by people of almost all religious communities.