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Vietnamese Christmas foods

Vietnamese Christmas food: Dishes & dining places for a memorable feast

16/10/2023 70 views

Christmas is not a national holiday in Vietnam but is still widely celebrated, and a big part of it is the food. Learn all about Vietnamese Christmas food below.

The Vietnamese Christmas food menu is quite extensive

The Vietnamese Christmas food menu is quite extensive (Source: Collected)

Vietnamese Christmas food plays a large role in the celebration of this holiday, blending traditional flavors with international influences. While Christmas is not a native holiday in Vietnam, it has been embraced and adapted to create a unique culinary experience that brings families and friends together. If you are on a Vietnam travel during Christmas, make sure you try all of the Vietnamese Christmas foods we recommend here.

1. Is Christmas celebrated in Vietnam?

Christmas is celebrated in Vietnam, although it is not a traditional Vietnamese holiday. Over the years, it has gained popularity and become a festive occasion, especially in urban areas. Some popular activities to celebrate Christmas in Vietnam include:

  • Attending midnight masses: Many Vietnamese, including those who are not Christians, attend midnight masses at churches on Christmas Eve. It is a significant religious event where carolers sing Christmas songs and hymns.
  • Decorating Christmas trees: Similar to Western traditions, Vietnamese families often decorate Christmas trees, usually with colorful ornaments, lights, and tinsel. This is a common practice, especially in major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Festive shopping: In the weeks leading up to Christmas, markets and shopping centers are adorned with festive decorations, and there is a heightened sense of holiday spirit.
  • Charitable activities: Many Vietnamese individuals and organizations engage in charitable activities during the Christmas season. They visit orphanages, distribute gifts to underprivileged children, and contribute to various community initiatives.
  • Special Christmas meals: Families gather to enjoy special Christmas meals, which might include both Western and traditional Vietnamese Christmas foods.

>>> Read more: Vietnam weather at Christmas

2. Most popular Vietnamese Christmas foods

2.1. Grilled seafood

In Vietnam, the festive season of Christmas takes on a unique and delightful twist with the tradition of enjoying grilled seafood. Families often gather around sizzling grills laden with an array of fresh seafood treasures. These are marinated in a harmonious blend of Vietnamese spices and herbs, lending a burst of fragrant and savory flavors to the feast.

Grilled seafood is a popular Vietnamese Christmas food

Grilled seafood is a popular Vietnamese Christmas food (Source: Collected)

2.2. Roasted turkey

While roasted turkey is not a traditional Vietnamese Christmas food, it has gained popularity in recent years as an indulgent addition. This holiday twist involves marinating the turkey with a Vietnamese touch, infusing it with flavors like lemongrass, garlic, and ginger. The presence of roasted turkey during Christmas showcases the openness of Vietnam to global influences and the country’s evolving holiday traditions.

2.3. Christmas ribs

This is another non-traditional dish, which finds its way onto many festive tables as a delightful fusion of Western and Vietnamese foods. These tender ribs are often marinated in a harmonious blend of spices and herbs and grilled to perfection or slow-cooked to achieve a mouth-watering, fall-off-the-bone tenderness. The aroma of sizzling ribs wafts through the air, creating a tantalizing atmosphere that brings families and friends together to enjoy the holiday spirit.

Ribs are a popular Vietnamese food for Christmas

Ribs are a popular Vietnamese food for Christmas (Source: Collected)

2.4. Seafood fried rice

Seafood fried rice, a savory blend of rice stir-fried with an array of fresh seafood such as shrimp, squid, and fish, is a popular Vietnamese Christmas food. This dish is generously seasoned with Vietnamese herbs and spices, lending it a unique local twist. Families often gather around the table, enjoying this fusion while spreading holiday cheer.

>>> Read more: Vietnamese Christmas decorations

2.5. Cured pork leg

Ham is not a traditional or commonly featured item in Vietnamese Christmas meals, as Christmas is not an indigenous holiday in Vietnam. However, due to the influence of Western culture, some Vietnamese families choose to incorporate ham into their holiday celebrations. If ham is included in a Vietnamese Christmas meal, it is often prepared in a way that aligns with the local ingredients. 

2.6. Soup

In Vietnam, enjoying a hearty bowl of soup during Christmas is a cherished tradition that reflects the country’s unique culinary heritage and the influence of Western customs. While Christmas is not an indigenous holiday, Vietnamese families have embraced the festive spirit and incorporated it into their own traditions. Hot soups add a comforting touch to the Christmas feast, bringing families and friends together with warmth and a sense of togetherness.

Enjoy a warm soup for your Vietnamese Christmas dinner

Enjoy a warm soup for your Vietnamese Christmas dinner (Source: Collected)

2.7. Christmas desserts

When it comes to Christmas desserts, there is a wide array of sweet treats that bring joy to gatherings and celebrations. These delectable Vietnamese Christmas desserts evoke the spirit of the season and leave everyone with a heart-warming smile.

  • Yule log cake: The Yule log cake, or “bûche de Noël,” is a beloved dessert in many countries, including Vietnam. It is often made of a sponge cake rolled with creamy fillings, then adorned with chocolate frosting to mimic the bark of a tree.
  • Gingerbread cookies: A staple of Christmas traditions worldwide, gingerbread cookies are a delightful blend of sweet and spicy. These intricately shaped cookies are often decorated with colorful icing and make for wonderful edible ornaments and gifts.
  • Candy canes: Candy canes, with their iconic red and white stripes, are a symbol of the holiday season. These peppermint-flavored candies are often hung on Christmas trees or enjoyed as a sweet, minty treat throughout December.
  • Pudding: Christmas pudding is a rich and dense dessert that is traditionally made with dried fruits, nuts, and spices, then steamed or boiled. It is a classic centerpiece for Christmas feasts in many English-speaking countries.
Desserts are a unmissable Vietnamese Christmas food

Desserts are a unmissable Vietnamese Christmas food (Source: Collected)

>>> More on: Merry Christmas in Vietnam

3. Where to feast on Christmas food in Vietnam?

Christmas in Vietnam is a time for indulging in delectable feasts, and there are numerous renowned venues in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City where you can savor the best of holiday cuisine. Many upscale hotels and restaurants in these major cities go all out to create a festive dining experience for locals and tourists alike.

For Christmas In Hanoi, luxury hotels such as the Hilton Hanoi Opera, Sheraton Hanoi, and Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi host extravagant Christmas buffets and special dining events. You can enjoy a sumptuous feast featuring a fusion of international and Vietnamese flavors. The elegant ambiance and attentive service make these venues perfect for celebrating Christmas in style.

Meanwhile, in the bustling Ho Chi Minh City, notable establishments like the Sheraton Saigon and The Reverie Saigon offer exceptional Christmas dining experiences. Their festive menus feature an assortment of dishes, from traditional Western fares to Vietnamese Christmas foods with a holiday twist. The rooftop bars in this vibrant city also provide a unique setting for enjoying Christmas in Ho Chi Minh City with breathtaking views.

Enjoy Vietnamese Christmas food in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Enjoy Vietnamese Christmas food in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Source: Collected)

Beyond hotels, you can explore the vibrant streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, where local eateries and bakeries often create their own Vietnamese Christmas foods and treats during the holiday season. Streets like Hanoi’s Hang Ma or Saigon’s Dong Khoi are filled with vendors offering seasonal delights.

If you intend to visit Vietnam for Christmas, you should choose Hanoi, Hoi An, Nha Trang, or Phu Quoc as your destination. These cities offer a wonderful blend of festive atmospheres, cultural experiences, and delectable Vietnamese Christmas food to make your holiday truly memorable.

Additionally, in these destinations, you can also explore the exciting entertainment complexes of VinWonders, including VinWonders Hanoi, VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium, VinWonders Nam Hoi An, VinWonders Nha Trang, and VinWonders Phu Quoc. VinWonders provides a fantastic range of entertainment options to enhance your holiday experience.

Celebrate Christmas at VinWonders for unforgettable memories

Celebrate Christmas at VinWonders for unforgettable memories

>>> Book tickets to VinWonders Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Nam Hoi An, VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium and VinWonders Hanoi for your Christmas celebration in Vietnam!

While Christmas is not a native holiday, Vietnamese people have embraced the festive spirit, and the culinary traditions associated with it have become an essential part of the celebration. From savory delights to delectable desserts, the holiday menu reflects a harmonious fusion of flavors. In every bite and shared moment, Vietnamese Christmas food encapsulates the spirit of the season – one of love, togetherness, and the joy of coming together.

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