Christmas in Hoi An – ’tis the season

The magic of the Christmas season isn’t far away, and both children and adults alike are anticipating the festive events of the holiday season in Hoi An.

The heritage site doesn’t have white snow and reindeer, but Santa Claus still visits the busy tourist town and the residents celebrate with fervor.

Christmas is a highly-anticipated event for most, and helps keep the season merry right up to the biggest holiday of the year, the Tet New Year celebration.

While the majority of Vietnamese aren’t Christian (only 8% out of 90 million consider themselves Protestant or Catholic, according to 2014 data), sociable Vietnamese people always enjoy a good party.

Vietnamese traditions

At this time of year, it is common to see people dressed in Santa suits and reindeer antlers. Christmas decorations, such as fantastically decorated trees, stars, bells, and wreathes are common sights in the old town. The sound of cheery Christmas carols is everywhere, and Vietnamese residents exchange presents with friends and family.

Unlike the west, Christmas Eve is the highlight of the celebration in Vietnam, rather than Christmas Day. Some citizens will attend a Midnight Mass and return home to a huge Yuletide dinner, with duck, chicken or turkey as the main feature. Reflecting the French influence, a version of the French ‘reveillon’ (chocolate log cake) is served at many homes.

After the feast, children place shoes outside of their front door and tuck themselves into bed, eagerly awaiting the goodies that will fill their footwear to the brim.

Festive events

There are an endless number of places to celebrate the season in Hoi An. The large blue and white Catholic church on Nguyen Truong To celebrates with a festive nativity scene and other events. Restaurants, hotels and resorts all create their own unique soirees for tourists and residents alike to enjoy the season.

While rain and cold can still disrupt the cheer, the weather will continue getting drier and warmer at this time of year.

Inquire at reception about events being hosted by La Siesta Resort & Spa, and for details about our special Christmas menu served at our two on-site restaurants.

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