Saigon alleys lit with Christmas spirit

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Many HCMC alleys inhabited by Catholic followers are festooned with colorful lights to commemorate the birth of Jesus.

Children are pushed by relatives on a tricycle to roam in an alley on Pham The Hien Street in District 8, which has been lit up by sparking lights and colorful decorations. Days before Christmas, the alleys on this street are more vibrant and bustling than usual. This is also one of the largest Christian communities in Ho Chi Minh City.

Children play in an alley off Pham The Hien Street in District 8, home to one of the largest Christian communities in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Christmas spirit pervades from houses to small alleys around the Christian niehgborhood on Pham The Hien Street. As the country’s biggest archdiocese, Ho Chi Minh City is home to nearly 700,000 Christians. And the community goes to town to ensure that this time of the year remains magical and sparkling.

As the country’s biggest archdiocese, Ho Chi Minh City hosts nearly 700,000 Christians. The community typically goes to town to ensure that this time of the year remains magical and sparkling.

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Residents said light decorations and nativity scenes serve to celebrate the birth of Christ and the New Year holiday.

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A family pose for a photo in front of a nativity scene inside a small alley in District 8.

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Most families on Pham The Hien Street start decorating the front of their homes with Christmas trees from early December to prepare for Christmas Eve.

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“Every year, we (parishioners) have different ideas on decoration. Each family contributes what they have depending on finances,” said 56-year-old Le Van Khai from Binh An Parish of District 8.

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A 3.8-meter-high Santa Claus and a nativity scene brighten up Alley 78, Chan Hung Street of Bac Hai Parish in Tan Binh District.

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“Like previous years, when it comes to Christmas, I figure out how to design a Santa Claus for my neighborhood. This year, it took me 15 days to finish, because the costumes, accessories and actual model weigh more than 50 kilograms. It’s okay to spend a little money, I just hope the neighborhood would have a warm and peaceful Christmas,” said Hien, a parishioner of Bac Hai.

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Tai leisurely cuts the hair of a customer next to a colorful nativity scene in Bac Hai Parish. “The Christmas atmosphere here is the most warm and bustling in the city,” he said.

[Caption]aa As the country’s biggest archdiocese, Ho Chi Minh City is home to nearly 700,000 Christians. And the community goes to town to ensure that this time of the year remains magical and sparkling.

Colorful lights are strung up in front of Nam Hoa Church on Dat Thanh Street in Tan Binh District.

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