Christmas is always warm in Vietnam

08:00 | 23/12/2019

As the years go by, more and more Vietnamese people are becoming curious about the Christmas festive season, creating their own meaningful ways to celebrate it by using it as a chance to help, share, and spread kindness to disadvantaged communities across society. Hoang Oanh reports.

christmas is always warm in vietnam
Christmas is always warm in Vietnam

As jingle bells begin to chime, hotels and resorts in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and other hotspots throughout Vietnam are packing holiday hampers and putting the final touches to a series of holiday menus.

These days, streets are covered with Christmas decorations, bells echo in every corner of the cities, and in the big city hotels, the Christmas and New Year atmosphere is vibrant.

In Hanoi, various boutiques, restaurants, supermarkets, shopping malls, and hotels are coated with brilliant new facades. Several shops in large streets like Cau Giay and Kim Ma, or souvenir streets such as Hang Ma and Hang Dao are selling festive outfits and decorative accessories for the Christmas season.

Among the beautiful cities in Southeast Asia, Ho Chi Minh City is one of the best places to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve. In District 1 around Le Loi boulevard, Dong Khoi street, and the cathedral and opera house, revellers can join big crowds to ring in 2020.

christmas is always warm in vietnam
Christmas is about gifts, singing, and smiling – but also about helping others
christmas is always warm in vietnam
Vietnamese people are no strangers to indulging in the Christmas spirit

Just like Vietnam’s Lunar New Year festivities, Christmas is an opportunity for family unifying and strengthening the bonds of love by taking time from work to spend it with relatives and friends.

For many years, instead of regarding Christmas as a holiday for relaxing and enjoying parties, numerous Vietnamese have celebrated the occasion by organising charity programmes and offering donations to support and help those in need. One of the most purposeful Christmas gifts becoming ever popular in the major cities are free clothes booths. With the slogan of “Donate for the needy, take what you need”, nine second-hand clothes booths have appeared like miniature fashion shops, where the concept of giving and taking is kept very simple.

The booths have popped up across Hanoi, mostly on crowded streets close to many major hospitals. Three of the charity clothes booths in Hanoi were opened by the owner of a cosmetics store.

Nguyen Huyen Trang, who helped set up the booths, said “At first, only a few people knew about this form of charity. We had to mobilise people to bring their clothes and fill the booths, as well as introduce them to customers. Gradually, the charity work became popular and even a sewing factory has brought us new clothes for donation.”

According to Phan Linh from Hanoi’s Cau Giay district, another donor who brought many clothes had carefully selected the items before offering them, all of which remain in good shape. He hoped this small contribution can help those in difficult circumstances to have a warmer winter.

Festive community activities are increasingly widespread, with participation of businesses and especially hotels in Vietnam with large-scale programmes held every year. Besides attractive deals on cuisine to celebrate Christmas, Novotel Halong Bay Hotel organised Christmas tree lighting activities associated with community-oriented volunteers.

The hotel has also introduced a number of meaningful programmes to contribute towards promoting local tourism activities, while also promoting the spirit of sharing, helping, and being responsible for the community. Tran Thi Lan, sales director at Novotel Halong Bay, stated that the hotel is selling Christmas souvenirs and placing donation boxes in the hotel lobby throughout December to raise funds, with the aim of supporting a Quang Ninh organisation in sponsoring and caring for children in need.

christmas is always warm in vietnam
Fully-decorated Christmas trees light up all kinds of festive events

Meanwhile, Christmas tree lightings and charitable events have been held by Sheraton Saigon Hotel, Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon, and Le Méridien Saigon, with the desire to express gratitude and appreciation to the local community.

The three hotels welcomed 80 children and 10 teachers from Tam Binh Orphanage Centre to enjoy the Christmas festivities. In order to give many children a merrier Christmas, the hotels gathered gifts from guests and staff to give to Binh Chanh Child Protection Centre and the Education Centre for Children with Disabilities in District 4 of Ho Chi Minh City.

Festive fever around town

Christmas is just around the corner, and various interesting culinary programmes and countdown parties are being hosted to provide unforgettable experiences for locals, expatriates, and tourists in Vietnam this festive season.

Jolly festivities at Becamex Hospitality

Special set menus and buffet dinners are on offer at Becamex Hotel New City and Becamex Hotel Thu Dau Mot. Come to celebrate this festive season in a luxurious atmosphere with sumptuous dining treats. The price is VND390,000 per person from now until January 1 at Becamex Hotel New City. At Becamex Hotel Thu Dau Mot, entry is VND450,000 each with a complimentary beer or juice from 5-9pm.

Festive celebration at Pullman Hanoi

Specially designed for business meet-ups, Pullman Hanoi’s Business Lunch offers two choices of Asian and Western selections with an Asian lunch (VND350,000 each), or plump for the Western style (VND1.05 million) is from 11.30am-2.30pm until January 31.

Countdown to 2020 at Holiday Inn & Suites Saigon

An unforgettable party experience awaits you, so get ready to dance the night away with a live DJ and a panoramic firework display on New Year’s Eve from 10.30pm onwards. Tickets price at VND450,000 per adult (one drink included).

New Year’s Day at InterContinental Saigon

Celebrate the New Year 2020 with all the delights of the festive season, from the freshest seafood to mouth-watering grilled dishes and authentic Cantonese cuisine at Market 39.

New Year’s Day brunch takes place on January 1, with prices from VND1.2 million per person (includes soft drinks) to VND2.3 million (includes soft drinks, tea, coffee, beer, wine, cocktails, and champagne). New Year’s Day dinner costs VND650,000 for children 6-12 years old and VND1.5 million per adult (includes drinks).

Year-end party at Premier Village Danang

Partake in year-end celebrations with the resort’s all-in-one party packages for a minimum of 10 persons.

The packages – Premier Impression, Premier Journey, and Premier Indulgence – range in price from VND1.75 million to VND2.66 million per person, and offer access to one-night accommodation in the unparalleled private pool villa, including breakfast, a special set dinner, and other extra benefits. Packages are valid until January 21.

Countdown party at PARKROYAL Saigon

A countdown party will be held by the hotel’s poolside with elegant scenery and cozy lights from 8pm until late, with exquisite selections of food, drinks, and live entertainment.PARKROYAL Saigon New Year’s Eve Countdown Party tickets are now on sale, at VND1.8 million each. Special discounts are applied for purchase of five or more tickets.

Ring in the Year of the Rat at Sheraton Saigon

It’a the most wonderful time to welcome the Year of the Rat and embark on a culinary journey with an authentic holiday-inspired buffet at Saigon Café. The Tet buffettaking place on January 24 will be filled with a wide array of traditional Vietnamese food, including beef & star fruit salad, jellyfish salad, prawn and lotus stem salad, “banh Tet”, and dried carrot and radish pickles.

While a dazzling collection of homemade Vietnamese sweets will bring back all the good memories of the old Tet such as Vietnamese tapioca with mung bean sweep soup, sticky rice filled mung bean in ginger syrup, and Tet candies, other exotic desserts will freshen your taste buds.

Along with hosting in major cities, the tourism sector can also bring gifts to children in remote and mountainous areas. KOTO and Pullman Hanoi’s Winter Appeal is one such example. Pullman staff and KOTO trainees presented gifts, stationery, and books, while organising games and music performances for pupils at Ta Van Chu primary school in Bac Ha district, in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai.

christmas is always warm in vietnam
Major hotels and businesses across the country are doing their bit for the holidays
christmas is always warm in vietnam
Big cities across Vietnam are hosting events full of fun, food, and festive activities

With the presence of a wide range of domestic entrepreneurs, Christmas volunteer activities have developed and attracted participation of various organisations. These small but precious actions not only contribute to spreading love for the disadvantaged, but also bring them happiness of being able to give and to share with each other.

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