Country covered with Christmas cheer

Thursday, 2014-12-25 11:24:52
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Hundreds of thousands of people flock to Saint Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi in Christmas night (Photo: Duy Linh)
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NDO – Christmas atmosphere was covering every corner of streets across the country on December 24. All people, being Catholics, Protestants or not, flocked to churches in the Christmas night to celebrate a merry Christmas and a happy New Year 2015.

In the capital city of Hanoi, braving the cold weather, hundreds of thousands of parishioners and city dwellers flocked to Saint Joseph Cathedral, Ham Long, Thai Ha, Phung Khoang churches, which were decorated with splendid decorative lights and colorful flowers.

Thu Huong from Tay Ho district said that although she was a non-Catholic, she visited the St. Joseph’s Cathedral to share Christmas joy with everyone and listened to the church’s bell ringing at midnight on Christmas Eve.

Since the beginning of this month, leaders of Hanoi and the city’s districts have paid visits and presented gifts to Catholic and Protestant dignitaries and followers to extend Christmas greetings on their major celebration.

Christmas cheer also covered every parish in the northern province of Nam Dinh. Many people flocked to churches and prayed for a merry Christmas and a new year full of prosperity and happiness.

Head of Trung Linh parish in Xuan Ngoc commune, Xuan Truong district said at Xuan Ngoc had around 15,000 households with nearly 7,000 people, 93% of them were Catholics. Catholic followers have always promoted solidarity and made contributions to the homeland’s development.

Hue city sparking at Christmas (Photo: Cong Hau)

In the central province of Thua Thien – Hue, many pupils and students went to parks and public spaces to light up candles and sing Christmas songs. Many foreign visitors, wearing Santa Claus hats on their heads, went to streets and took photos in front of churches.

On the occasion, Phu Cam parish in Hue city presented gifts to poor people and 500 children living in the city.

Priest Phan Khac Tu, Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Committee for Solidary of Catholics said that every church in the city has been brilliantly adorned to welcome Christmas. Over the past years, Catholic dignitaries and followers have positively participated in social activities, which have contributed to ensuring social order and traffic safety, caring for the elderly, children with disabilities and people living with HIV/AIDS.


A Santa Claus presents gift to a child in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: Quang Quy)

Nguyen Thi Cuc from district 3 in Ho Chi Minh City said that she had just attended a celebration at Tan Dinh church. She planned to hang around with her friends to enjoy the excitement among the streets.

Tens on Christmas caves have been set up in Binh An parish in district 8, drawing the interest of many people. According to Chairman of the Parish Pastoral Council, Pham Quoc Viet, the cave is a vivid and the most meaningful symbol of the Catholics at Christmas. The construction of the caves had the contributions of both Catholics and non-Catholic youngsters, he said.

A music night was held in Xom Lach parish in district 3, gathering amateur singers and local people.

Central Highlands provinces were also brightened up in the Christmas night. Local people said they felt a merrier Christmas this year as over the past three years, their life improved a great deal thanks to their successful coffee and rubber crops.

A Christmas celebration held in front of Thang Thien church, Pleiku city in the Central Highland province of Gia Lai (Photo: Phan Hoa)

In the Hanoi parish in Bien Hoa city, the southern Dong Nai province, home to over more than 16,000 Catholics, thousands gathered to share the special night.

During the Christmas Eve, the parish presented 200 gifts to poor families, religious and non-religious alike.