Known as one of the most important worldwide holidays, Christmas has never failed to attract people with various ways to celebrate in different nations, and Vietnam is not an exception. Let’s see how Christmas in Vietnam is held as well as find out about popular churches to drop off during the holiday through this article!
1. Is Christmas celebrated in Vietnam?
Contrary to common belief that Vietnam barely celebrates other holidays apart from Lunar New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival, with over 7 million Christians, the Vietnamese Christian community is the 5th most populous in Asia; hence Christmas is an indispensable holiday here.
In the 16th century, Christianity was introduced into Vietnam by missionaries from Portugal, Spain and France. After undergoing various ups and downs during the course of history, Christians and Catholics in Vietnam have been able to keep their religion and celebrate Christmas annually, making it a popular occasion nationwide with many interesting activities.
If you are coming to Vietnam in December and wondering how to say Merry Christmas in Vietnam, “Chuc mung Giang sinh” is the most appropriate saying for you!
2. How do they celebrate Christmas in Vietnam: 5 popular activities on this day
Just like other countries across the globe, there are multiple ways to celebrate Christmas in Vietnam. Let’s take a glance at popular activities to celebrate this famous holiday for Vietnamese people!
2.1. Decorate the house with Christmas trees and items
One of the most popular Christmas decorations in Vietnam is the Christmas tree with many colorful items such as Santa Claus figures, bells and lights. Not only used for home decoration, those items are also commonly seen along the streets, since Vietnamese people tend to gather at shopping centers and other public areas during this holiday.
2.2. Dress up in Santa outfits and walk around the streets
Originally, only Christians would follow the gift-giving tradition on Christmas. However, this has become one of the most interesting Christmas traditions in Vietnam even for non-believers for the last decades. Parents or adults would dress up in Santa Claus outfits and prepare presents such as candies and toys for kids.
These outfits are also worn by children and youngsters for entertainment purposes or to perform on stages during the occasion.
2.3. Spend Christmas night in the church
For Christians, celebrating Christmas Eve in a well-decorated and reputable church is an indispensable tradition. On this occasion, local churches often welcome numerous visitors and hold exciting events nearby.
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2.4. Enjoy Christmas food in Vietnam
Like any other festival, Christmas in Vietnam is celebrated with many typical foods. Christmas food in Vietnam may include chicken soup or turkey, which are worldwide traditional Christmas dishes, along with various local specialties.
On this occasion, many food stalls and restaurants are open because Vietnamese people often enjoy Christmas by eating out instead of having private family gatherings.
2.5. Give Christmas gifts and cards to the loved ones
Since Christmas is considered a big occasion in Vietnam, presents are part and parcel for people celebrating this holiday. This activity is certainly more popular among Christian families since Christmas is a part of their religious life. Kids are often the most excited to receive surprising gifts from their parents and other adults as rewards for their efforts before Christmas.
3. The top 5 famous churches in Vietnam to enter the Christmas spirit
If you are planning to celebrate such a great holiday in Vietnam this year, do not forget to visit some famous churches to enjoy Christmas to the fullest. Below are the 5 most well-known churches that you should take note of to have the BEST Christmas holiday in Vietnam.
3.1. St. Joseph's Cathedral - Hanoi City
Constructed in 1886, St. Joseph’s Cathedral was among the very first churches built by the French. Located to the West of Hoan Kiem Lake, this church has witnessed various historic events and milestones in the capital of Vietnam.
- Location: 40 Nha Chung Street, Hang Trong Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Entrance fee: Free
3.2. Chicken Church - Da Nang City
Another church built by the French is Chicken Church in Da Nang City. A special thing about this church is that it has many names. Originally known as Da Nang Cathedral, the church is also called Pink Church (for its special pink exterior), Tourane Church or Sacred Heart Church of Jesus. This special architectural work promises to be an ideal destination for youngsters on special occasions such as Christmas in Vietnam.
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3.3. Nha Trang Cathedral - Khanh Hoa Province
- Address: 31 Thai Nguyen, Phuoc Tan, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa
Known as one of the most renowned traveling destinations, Nha Trang boasts breath-taking sea views and attractive services. Besides, the architecture of the churches here is also a beautiful highlight that you should not miss out on, especially Nha Trang Cathedral. Built in the 1880s by the French, this is one of the oldest churches in the coastal city.
Imbued with historical and cultural significance, this church would be a fascinating destination for tourists, especially during the Christmas holiday in Vietnam. If you are planning to celebrate Christmas in Nha Trang, it is recommended that you stay at Vinpearl Nha Trang to enjoy the holiday to the fullest.
>>> Book rooms in Vinpearl Nha Trang to enjoy Christmas to the fullest
3.4. Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral - Ho Chi Minh City
- Address: No.1, Cong Xa Paris Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Located in the Paris Commune Square in the downtown of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral is among the most well-known sites for Vietnamese and foreign Christians as well as the local residents in the city. After nearly 160 years, the cathedral still proves itself as a religious stronghold for around 6.2 million Catholics in Saigon and an impressive destination for tourists, especially during Christmas in Vietnam.
3.5. Tan Dinh Church - Ho Chi Minh City
- Address: 289 Hai Ba Trung Street, Ward 8, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Similar to Chicken Church in Da Nang, Tan Dinh Church stands out with its iconic pink exterior in Ho Chi Minh City. This is one of the most impressive Gothic architectural works that every religious believer and photo-shooting fan should pay a visit to, especially on Christmas.
With the above-mentioned information, hopefully this article has provided for you the most useful tips to celebrate Christmas in Vietnam.