Christmas brings people closer hinh anh 1Christmas atmosphere has encompassed every corner of the nation, from families to public places. (Source: VNA)

Hano​i (VNA) Christmas atmosphere has encompassed every corner of the nation, from families to public places, bringing smiles and a festive mood to both Catholic and non-Catholic people.

In the capital city of Hanoi, streets are bustling with shimmering lights, decorations, music from street-side restaurants and shops, and people coming in droves to enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Joining the crowds on the road to Hanoi Cathedral, Do Nam Anh, a Catholic in Chua Vua Street, Hai Ba Trung district, said he and other Christians pray for happiness and prosperity not only for themselves but also to all people.

Aglow in vibrant light displays, Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake is a favourite place for many people, including international tourists, with a range of entertainment activities.

Nguyen Ngoc Lan, from Minh Khai Street, Hai Ba Trung district, said Christmas has also become a festival of non-Catholic people, particularly youths, adding that she came here to enjoy the festive atmosphere with her friends.

Monika and Piotr from Poland said they were surprised and felt fascinated when seeing how Vietnamese people, especially Hanoians, celebrate Christmas.

“We will tell our friends about friendly and hospitable Vietnamese when we come back home,” they said.

The bustling atmosphere also prevailed across the southern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City

Although the Notre Dame Cathedral is close for upgrading, many young people gathered in front of the church since December 24 afternoon and adjacent streets.

Christmas songs, twinkling bulbs and creatively designed holiday-themed attractions cover streets like Bui Vien and Nguyen Hue, as well as big commercial centres and hotels such as Diamond Plaza, Saigon Centre, Parkson, Aemon Tan Phu, Rex and Caravel.

Hoai Nam, an overseas Vietnamese who visits Ho Chi Minh City and celebrates Christmas in Vietnam for the first time, said her foreign friends were surprised by the bustling atmosphere in the city which reminded them of the celebration in their home countries.

The merry Christmas atmosphere could also be seen in other localities nationwide.

To residents in Hai Hau commune, Nghia Hung district, Nam Dinh province, Christmas has become a festival of all people.

In Xuan Tien and Xuan Kien communes, Xuan Truong district, where nearly 90 percent of its population are Christians, the festive atmosphere has warmed up very household and hamlet.

Nam Dinh has over 470,000 Catholics or more than 22 percent of its population, who practise religion at more than 600 local churches.   
Taking place at the same time with the Flower Festival, Christmas in Da Lat city, the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, has become more sparkling.

Bishop An Ton Vu Huy Chuong of the Da Lat Diocese said better decorations and celebrations demonstrate that living standards of local Christians hav been improved.

He said among 380,000 Catholics in Lam Dong, 150,000 are of ethnic minority groups.-VNA