Getting festive at Hanoi's first German Christmas market

December 18, 2017 | 05:28 am PT
A taste of Germany to get you warmed up for the Christmas season in Hanoi.

“The history of Christmas markets goes back hundreds of years in Germany.” Tobias Kuester-Campioni, a member of the organizers told VnExpress. “Traditionally they are held in a churchyard in the center of the city or town. Cua Bac Church is the perfect place for us to open a Christmas market in Hanoi.”


The market is part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Goethe Institut Hanoi. “We expected only three or four thousand people to turn up, but so far 20,000 people have visited the market,” Campioni said.


Twenty-five stalls and tents fillied with ornaments, handicrafts, handmade accessories, toys and books were at the market to greet visitors. The profits from these stalls will be sent to support low-income families living on the Red River Island under Long Bien Bridge. According to one stallholder, a spot at the market cost VND5-6 million ($220-$264) for the three-day market last weekend.


Sausages, stollen pastries, mulled wine and roasted chestnuts were all on offer…


… along with famed craft beers. “The Vietnamese are just like the Germans when it comes to enjoying a good laugh and good beer,” said Alexander Haf, a German beer brewer who has lived in Hanoi for over seven years.


“In the last two days, I have sold 1,000 litres of beer,” Haf added. 


Lisa, a German visitor, said that holding a bag of warm chestnuts and walking around in the chilly cold reminded her of Christmas back home.


“We've loved the special atmosphere from the first moment we walked into the market,” said Trang, a young mother from Hanoi. “I want my son to have a taste of a traditional German Christmas market.”


Others came to enjoy the festive spirit.

Aside from the market, a special Christmas concert will be staged in Cua Bac's churchyard at 8.p.m., December 21, featuring the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, the Hanoi Catholic Youth Choir and the Opera Choir.

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