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How do Vietnamese celebrate Christmas?

Christmas is coming
Is there anything special for Christmas in Vietnam ?

Although Christmas is not an official public holiday in Vietnam, it is still a jubilant religious festival for joining with gusto whether being a Christian or not. Several tourist hesitate and ask me “How do Vietnamese celebrate Christmas?”. Well, this article will answer that question.

The origin of Christmas in Vietnam
Christmas is a great festival originating from the West and spreading to other areas through the raising of Christian teachings. Ho Chi Minh city (called Saigon) is one of the largest Christmas venues in Vietnam with about two-thirds of Christians all over the country. Used to be ruled by the French Empire, the southern Vietnam does not only receive Western culture but also religion-related such as Christmas traditions. Although Vietnam is a Buddhist country, Christmas is also considered as a social event and a grand party for gathering friends and family. Vietnamese citizens are willing to enjoy these days in many different ways.

Christmas in Vietnam Culture
Vietnam had selectively adopted Christian elements and and transformed in accordance with Vietnamese culture. There are no cold temperatures, no big parades, no great Christmas party but you can still feel the jubilant ambience and the glamorous sparkling decoration along the streets and in the cathedrals.

In the big cities of Vietnam, we often lighten up the downtown by all kinds of lights so Christmas is an event to freely add more colors everywhere. Taken by: Nguyễn Duy Tân

The Vietnamese youngster and children are extremely excited on these days that they can capture tons of beautiful photo, hang out, amuse and change gifts. They believe that Santa Claus will reward them with gifts for doing many good things and good manner if they write a letter for him and put it under the pillow. Of course, taking advantage of this occasion, Vietnamese parents convey their wishes and encouragement to their children. We have the Santa Claus service including Santa Claus and gifts (pre-selected) with a lot of fun activities. So don’t be surprised if you see a Santa Claus carrying a huge bag of presents in the middle of the traffic jam - he just have a busy day with tons of joy.

When Santa Claus are stucked in the Traffic Jam, where is Rudolph the Reindeer?. Taken by: Tina Dong.


Christmas is not only an occasion for boosting friendship harmony but also carries the message of luck and hope for the best before the end of the year. The reception of new religious activities proves that the harmonization of religions and cultural activities in Vietnam has took place naturally and reasonably. Nowadays, Christmas is celebrated more and more with the splendid decorations on the streets and shopping centers as well as the younger generation in Vietnam is increasingly treating Christmas as an international festival. The special thing about Christmas in Vietnam is that you do not need to wait until the exact Christmas day to attend the event and admire the city in the brilliant night of lights and pine trees. Because all the ornaments were set up very early.

Christmas is in the middle of the peak tourist season, so if you travel to Vietnam at that time, there are many interesting tourist activities waiting for you. Many Christmas concerts are held in concert halls, theaters and churches with distinct Christmas dances and songs. Wherever you go, whether it's a cafe, a mall or the street, you can hear the merry Christmas tunes that put you in a merry mood.
How we celebrate Christmas
In recent years, Christmas becomes more and more popular with Vietnamese and Christmas even is no longer dedicate to Christians.

The nativity scene in a Church in Ho Chi Minh city. Source: Internet.

There are 2 main celebrating ways based on 2 main groups:
- The first group is Christian who celebrate Christmas similarly to Westerners. The Christmas Eve is prepared in advance from the end of November or the beginning of December every year. They decorate the house with several lights and Christmas trees. On December 24th night, they go to church to attend a midnight Mass before returning home to spend their rest of evening with family. They cook together and exchange gifts with the best wishes. Christmas is known as the birthday of Jesus and the special religious symbol.

- The second group are non-religious people. This group consists mainly of young people and children. They just want to have fun with friends in the vibrant Christmas day without regarding any meaningful religious elements.

Where to go for Christmas vibe photos?

Diamond Plaza downtown Saigon in Christmas. Source: Internet. 

In order to immerse yourself in the joyful and bustling atmosphere with Vietnamese people, you should choose the main dress code with red, white and green color and come to the city center. You will hardly resist the colorful Christmas light shows. Let capture photos, and drink some beer as a real locals. If you want to have beautiful photos and chill wholy the juliant ambience without cars, Nguyen Hue Walking Street will be an ideal place for you. Beside, the churches are considered as "Must go" attractions that we shouldn't miss during the Christmas season. They are not only places where the christian join in this religious party, but also the attractive point for the young people and the tourists. You can choose Tan Dinh church that prominent for the characteristic pink and many impressive decorative items. Ky Dong Church is also a great choice for you to admire a large-scale and shimmering Christmas festival as a Western Christmas that you usually see through television screens. You also enjoy the magic of Christmas night on the street of light and Candles in the local Catholic churches in our city.

What to eat in Christmas?
Different culture lead to different in Christmas Eve. If you imagine about a delicate meals with turkey or pudding, get them out of your mind and go on a street food adventure. The street vendors is a significant features in Vietnam, on Christmas day, many Christmas-themed culinary delights will be served. Colorful candies and dried fruits, roasted chestnuts, cookies and whole roasted quails can be found in Nguyen Hue, Bui Vien, Pham The Hien, and Thanh Cong, ect. However, you still enjoy a haute cuisine feast in some high class restaurants. They will offer you buffets or set menus of Christmas meal with all your traditional western favorites — turkey, ham, and roast.

Wherever you go, watch your belongings back
Have a peaceful and warm Christmas! And Merry Christmas from Tiger Tours.

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