Catholics celebrate Christmas as big as the Lunar New Year, often holding parties, inviting friends and neighbors to join in the fun.
Catholic Solidarity Christmas Party
John and his wife are both original believers (the family has many religious generations), leaving their hometown to go to the city to do business, so they have many friends and customers who are non-believers. On Christmas every year, Tung and his wife also make a few trays of rice to treat friends, also an opportunity to reunite to summarize a year of business.
This year, Mr. Tung’s family held a party before Christmas Eve. Those invited to join the fun included friends of the same religion, but most were non-believers. Before the ceremony, Mr. Tung and his wife spent time cleaning and decorating the house. The small house is decorated according to the Christmas theme with a pine tree and a manger cave, with many flashing lights in the middle of the living room.
Expecting to invite about 50 guests in the evening, Tung’s wife, Teresa Thu Trang, asked to take a break from the afternoon shift to prepare the menu. It took three or four rounds to go to the market for Ms. Trang to buy enough food. Around 7 pm, the tray of rice is served neatly and beautifully. In addition to the hot pot dishes, Ms. Trang also served some pickled onions, spring rolls, a few plates of spring rolls… These are the dishes that Trang herself prepared a whole week in advance with the desire that the party would have a traditional New Year’s Day vibe. .
Although the space of Tung and his wife’s house was not spacious, the guests did not mind, the sound of clinking glasses was loud throughout the evening. “Christmas is no longer a holiday for Christians alone, but has become a common joy for everyone in the world. We want to dedicate this important holiday to gratitude and friendship. “, Ms. Thu Trang shared.
After the party, at midnight, Mr. Tung also took his friends to visit the Cathedral near the house. Tung passionately told about the relics related to the life of Jesus according to the teachings recorded in the Bible. “The message of God is to bring joy and joy, spread love for fellow human beings, wish for a happier life and we need to multiply that joy,” explained Mr. Tung.
Today, in addition to going to the market to prepare a decent meal, Thu Trang and her husband also design cards and small calendars for friends with the desire to welcome a new year of luck.
As a non-religious guest invited to the party by Mr. Tung’s family, Ms. Trang’s family, Mr. Hoang Ngoc Binh shared: “The Christmas atmosphere of Catholics is no different from New Year’s Day. Raise a glass and spend time with friends. humming hymns on a cold winter day, I feel so warm and excited…”.
In Dong Tien parish, Phong Y parish, Phong Son town, Cam Thuy mountainous district, these days the Christmas atmosphere is also filled with Catholic families. With just over 20 rooftops with more than a hundred names (religious people), mixed with families of different religions, people in Dong Tien live in harmony.
At Christmas every year, the Dong Tien people organize a solidarity party. On the main holiday (December 25), all parishioners in their parish take a break from work, each family will contribute a chicken, some sticky rice or other food, and then go to the kitchen to blow rice. In the small yard, the sound of people slaughtering chickens, the sound of knives and chopping boards is bustling. Men in the family are assigned to set the table and chairs, while the women are in charge of cooking. In the alley, children were running and jumping. They eagerly waited for the break to come.
Mr. Antoni Le Quang Tam, Head of Dong Tien Church, said that not only parishioners but also ordinary neighbors were invited to celebrate the celebration. In previous years, the family celebrated a larger festival, sometimes slaughtering pigs and goats for a party, but this year the economy was difficult due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic and the central region floods, so the people had a simple party.
“We want to celebrate the holidays to give gifts to support people in flood areas or share with less fortunate lives,” said Antoni. On this occasion, together with Phong Y Parish, the people of the Dong Tien family also gave small gifts to visit poor families and policy households in the hamlet.
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