With a small but visible Catholic minority, Christmas in Vietnam hasn’t historically been as big as it is in the West. Nevertheless, the spirit of the season can still be felt here in Saigon this year as shopping centers, restaurants, retail shops, streets, offices, homes, and churches go all out in their decorations.
Around Ho Chi Minh City, the international, commercial capital of Vietnam, giant Christmas trees and Santa Claus displays have become attractions over the years, with the bright lights and the red, green, blue and white hues dominating prominent streets and iconic buildings. In Christian neighborhoods, enormous nativity scenes have become familiar sights.
From the iconic architecture of Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon’s District 1 to the festive, colorful streets of Pham The Hien in District 8, home to Binh An Thuong Church, there’s an abundance of Christmas cheer visible in the city.
And even amidst the lingering impact of the long lockdown this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Saigonese continue to celebrate and find good reasons to spread hope, joy and love. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, after all.
Vietcetera’s staff photographer Tin Phung takes snapshots of colorful Christmas decorations around Saigon.