Making news

Cua Bac Church to host Christmas market and concert

The German Christmas Market will be held for the second time at Cua Bac Church in Hanoi, offering handicraft gifts and musical performances to local people from December 13-15.

Local residents will have a chance to enjoy a festive atmosphere and get into the Christmas spirit through the market, an important folk tradition set up in the traditional German fashion.

"We are honoured to host the second Christmas market and Christmas concert," said Reverend Alphonsus Pham Hung, Chancellor and Chaplain of the International Catholics in Hanoi. "It is a big event to provide an opportunity for everyone to gather happily and welcome the Christmas season. It also expresses the cultural relationship between Vietnam and Germany."

The three-day event will feature not only German specialties such as Christmas beer, hot wine and traditional cakes, but will also sell typical German handicraft Christmas gifts. These gifts are made by the German community and other organisations.

Music performances will feature the unique band Bamboo Ensemble, amateur musicians and German students from the Hanoi Goethe Institute and Hanoi University. The Bamboo Ensemble will perform at 6pm all three days of the festival under the baton of conductor Dong Quang Vinh.

A Christmas concert will be held on December 19. The concert will begin at 8pm and will include popular pieces by musicians from the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra (VNSO).

Mozart’s Tantum Ergo will open the concert, followed by two special pieces of the Baroque period by Handel and Bach.

"The Concerto in D-minor by Bach is a special choice for the atmospheric evening," said conductor Tetsuji Honna. "Bach left space for freedom of interpretation in his composition. That gives each concert and each new setting of his pieces a certain uniqueness and particularity."

A highlight of the concert will be Coronation Mass by Mozart. The piece will be performed by soloists from the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet including soprano Dao To Loan, alto Phuong Thao, tenor Dinh Chuc and baritone Manh Dung and the Catholic Youth Choir.

The concert will begin at 8pm with a request for donations. The market will open on December 13 and 14 from 2pm to 9pm and on December 15 from 10am to 9pm at Cua Bac Church, 56 Phan Dinh Phung Street.

Originally named the Church of Martyrs, Cua Bac Church was designed by Frenchman Ernest Hebrard and built in 1932. It is one of the popular tourism sites in Hanoi and is one of three major churches in the city along with Ham Long and Saint Joseph Cathedral.

Last year, the German Christmas Market attracted about 30,000 visitors, six times the organisation’s expected participation.