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.