Christmas in Vietnam – Mostly Roman Catholic

The Vietnamese regard Christmas Eve as more significant than the actual day of Christmas. Many people take Christmas as only a holiday for the Christians, and hence it is not a formal public holiday.

In the biggest city of Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh, previously known as Saigon) individuals, especially the young-ins, go to the center of the city to celebrate Christmas in the Catholic Cathedral.

Christmas Eve is considered as really important; hence, the streets are usually full of people merrymaking.

This is to the extent that cars are not allowed to the city center during the night of Christmas Eve.

The city center is usually crowded with people taking photos, dispersing confetti and enjoying the view of the beautification and the glittering lights of the retail stores and the hotels.

There are also a lot of restaurants and cafes which are open to the public for them to delight in meals and snacks.

Midnight Mass in Vietnam

Despite most people in Vietnam being non-Vietnams, some of them usually delight in going to the midnight mass to enjoy the Christmas views and get a grasp of the Birth of Christ shows.

Vietnam was once a part of the French Empire, and this has hence brought about French impacts on its Christmas customs.

Some Christian homes and all the churches in Vietnam have a custom crib section or paintings.

This applies especially for the Catholic churches who have the most significant scenes with almost the real sizes of baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary the shepherds and flock.

Some of the residents of Ho Chi Minh decorate the entire street and have broad crib statutes at the entry of their houses, hence converting it to a Christmas zone.

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These are meant to allow people to visit and appreciate the scenes.

In the Vietnamese language, Merry Christmas means “Chúc mừng Giáng Sinh.”

Just like the French, the exceptional meal on Christmas is referred to as the “bûche de Noël” which is a chocolate cake in the form of a log.

It is interesting to know how people wish Happy or Merry Christmas in other languages. The Vietnamese like exchanging gifts of food, which makes the chocolate cake a popular present.

The young people like exchanging Christmas cards and other Christmas gifts are not as mutual.

Vietnam is so hot, and hence, it would be very uncomfortable for a Santa man to where all the piles of Velvet.

However the people recognize Santa, and they refer to him as “Ong già Noel”, which translates to Christmas old man.

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Main Points About Christmas in Vietnam

  1. In Vietnam, Christmas is not an official public holiday. It is often seen as a day for Christians.
  2. On Christmas eve, many Christian Vietnamese go to church to enjoy the Christmas carols, performances and nativity plays.
  3. Nativity scenes are a very popular all-around town. The streets are often densely populated on Christmas eve, and in many parts of the city centers, cars are not allowed.
  4. Around Christmas time, high-end restaurants often put on special offerings and special menus.
  5. During the festive season, people have a lot of fun shopping, throwing confetti, wearing Santa’s outfit, caroling and getting into the Christmas cheers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Christmas in Vietnam


Christmas in Vietnam is special in its own way. I hope you have got a good idea of how people in Vietnam celebrate Christmas.

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The decorations in the markets and the sharing of sweets can easily be seen. If you have been to Vietnam on Christmas or stay in Vietnam then do share your first-hand experience in the comments below.

Word Cloud for Christmas in Vietnam

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Christmas in Vietnam. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.