Christmas in Vietnam is not a public holiday
Also known as Noel or Lễ Giáng Sinh in Vietnamese, Christmas in Vietnam is not celebrated as grandly as in Western countries.
We don’t have a day off on Dec 24th neither on the 25th. People go to work as usual, all students need to go to school.
According to Statista, there’s just 7.4% of the Vietnamese population who are Christian. Christmas being a Christian tradition, that could be the reason why this holiday is not so popular nationwide.
Even though a minority celebrate Christmas in Vietnam, the Xmas vibe is visible everywhere, especially in big cities in Vietnam such as Hanoi and Saigon. Decoration, celebration, activities, and music bring the Noel atmosphere around the corner.
How do people celebrate Christmas in Vietnam?
Many companies, offices, shopping malls, supermarkets, coffee shops, streets, etc, are well decorated with snowflakes patterns, Christmas trees, Santa Claus, gift boxes, and lots of flashing colored lights.
Christmas songs such as Jingle bells, Let it snow, Last Christmas are played over and over in many places. Red, Green, White, and Yellow colors cover many corners in urban areas. The countryside seems quieter but the Christmas spirit is still there.
For the local Christians, Christmas is the most important event of the year. They pay attention to ornament their house inside out. They also come to churches for the ceremony.
For the rest, we spend the day as any other usual day. However, at night, many young people and families hang out to enjoy the holiday atmosphere, taking pictures with beautiful Xmas decoration.
Many children dressed in Christmas costumes play around and take selfies with their parents. Some even go to the churches just to join and to learn how people celebrate Christmas here.
I’m not a Christian but I used to go to the cathedrals on the night of 24th. I love the beautiful decoration and watch the performance inside.
I find people who sing in the churches have incredible voices even though they are not professional singers. It’s interesting to go there and discover stories from our friends who follow the Catholic religion as well.
Offering Christmas Gifts is not a tradition in Vietnam
In Western countries, it’s not really normal if we don’t give gifts to each other on the Christmas holiday.
However, it’s not a tradition to give and receive Christmas gifts from family and friends in Vietnam. We do it just because we like it. And sometimes it’s also a good occasion to offer something nice to your beloved ones.
Besides, when Christmas is about to come, you will see some job offers with the mission of being a Santa Claus, delivering gifts to children. I haven’t done it yet, but I’m curious. It sounds interesting and I guess it can bring a lot of fun 🙂
Christmas in Vietnam is for outdoor activities rather than family reunion
Christmas is an important moment for Western and Christian communities to reunite with all members. They gather to celebrate, have a cozy talk, eat good food, and gift each other.
The majority of Vietnamese people do similar things but in the Tet holiday, not really on Christmas. This time of the year is more for friends, outdoor parties, and sometimes for volunteering activities.
Some Vietnamese transform into Santa Clauses to offer free gifts to the homeless and poor people on the streets. This makes Christmas in Vietnam warmer and full of love from beautiful manners of sharing and giving.
Over to you
Even though the majority of Vietnamese don’t celebrate Christmas, the Xmas atmosphere is still bustling, especially in big cities.
Whether you are a Western or Christian, coming to Vietnam and celebrating Christmas here is not a bad idea at all. On the contrary, you will have a chance to discover how the Vietnamese enjoy this holiday, and learn how different from here to your country.
Christmas is around the corner. I’ve already felt the amazing ambiance of this celebration everywhere. May you and your family have a cozy and memorable holiday. Merry Christmas!!!
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