Feature: Vietnamese people celebrate Christmas in their own way


By Nguyen Thi Hang Ngan, Nguyen Thi Thuy Anh
HANOI, Dec. 25 — Eagerly selecting decoration items at a shop in downtown Hanoi for her Christmas tree, Nguyen Viet Ha said Christmas now becomes part of her family’s yearend celebration.
After half an hour of travel along the Hang Ma Street in Hanoi where decoration items for festive events are sold, Ha bought a small artificial pine tree, blinking lights, ribbons and small gift boxes. “My family started celebrating Christmas three years ago, though we are not following any religion,”Ha, a 28-year-old Hanoi citizen, told Xinhua on Tuesday, the eve of Christmas. “As everybody is getting busier in modern life, we are trying to find out more occasions for the family to get together,”Ha said.
Christmas has become more and more popular in Vietnam these days, especially among young people. Although most of the young do not know the exact meaning and origin of Christmas, the holiday provides Vietnamese people with an opportunity to have a good time with friends and families.
In Vietnam, there is a special service during Christmas that is having Santa Claus delivering Christmas gifts. This service is booming in Vietnam in recent years.
Rom Vang, owner of a gift shop on Phan Dinh Phung Street in Hanoi, the service in the city appeared around seven to eight years ago, originally derived from some gift shops and is now very popular in this capital city. “Customers can pay an amount of less than 100,000 Vietnamese dong (five U.S. dollars) as delivery fee for a distance of under 10 kilometers or 10,000-30,000 Vietnamese dong (50 cents to 1.5 U. S. dollars) for every additional one kilometer,”said the shop owner.
Dressing up like Santa Claus with thick white beard, big belly, purple attire and a sack full of gifts, Nguyen Minh Phong, 20, was preparing to deliver gifts for children at a kindergarten in Hanoi.
Phong is a student and is working part-time for a gift shop in Hanoi during Christmas season. “I have been dressed up like Santa to deliver gifts for the last two Christmas holidays. I have experienced very sweet memories with children. Some of them asked me why Santa Claus is so young, and some hugged me very tight when receiving gifts from Santa Claus,”Phong said.
Pham Thanh Thao, 30, told Xinhua that she already found a Santa Claus service to deliver the newly toy car models she bought for her six-year-old son in Hanoi.”My son will get the gift from Santa Claus on Christmas Eve this year. He was very happy when he got his gift from Santa Claus last year, so I decided to use this service again this year,”Thao said.
The celebration of Christmas and New Year is warming up the extraordinarily chilly winter in Hanoi.
Since the beginning of December 2013, streets, cafeterias, companies and offices have “put on new clothes” featured with Christmas’s traditional red and white colors.
Christmas trees, decorations, blinking lights, ribbons and other holiday items are easy to be found and bought on the Old Quarter’s Hang Ma Street.
During the holidays, the Vietnamese people celebrate in their own way but still with the same spirit of joy and gift-giving which is practiced the world over.[db:内容2]