Christmas Holidays

Hanoi’s Got The Christmas Spirit

Young people gather in an outdoor plaza around the tallest Christmas tree in Vietnam. (Van Nguyen/YJI)

HANOI, Vietnam – Christmas is finally here.

There are colored lights in late-night shops and classic holiday-themed songs busting out of speakers.
Only a fraction of the Vietnamese population follow Christianity, but it does not stop an ordinary citizen from celebrating Christmas with the warmest joy.
Though it lacks a high spiritual meaning here, Christmas in Hanoi truly lifts every spirit.
To a high school student, Christmas is a valid excuse to procrastinate a little and panic later during finals week.
Christmas is valuable family time; it is time to wander for hours on streets with friends, only to look at flashing lights, festive decorating and laugh at silly jokes.
Every Christmas is a bit different because of the people and the time that has elapsed, because of the person we feel to be then.
We miss and adore every Christmas, though last year may just be no more than a blissful blur. We cherish the spirit, the new memory that every year Christmas bestows. 
Chi Le is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International. YJI’s Van Nguyen took the photographs.

A magnificent Christmas tree in the main hall of Keangnan Landmark Tower adds a festive atmosphere. (Van Nguyen/YJI)


Christmas decorations at Ocean Mall in Vietnam. This is a place for customers to take pictures and exchange lucky gifts. (Van Nguyen/YJI)


Nighttime at Royal City in Hanoi at Christmastime. Many people gather here to celebrate joyful moments with family and friends. (Van Nguyen/YJI)