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[Photos] Bask in the Festive Spirit at Hanoi's Holiday Decoration Street

With Christmas just around the corner, businesses and public places in Hanoi are awash in red and winter-themed paraphernalia. Crowds of young Hanoians flock to Phố Hàng Mã, one of the city’s major knick-knack markets, to take in the festive spirit.

Under French rule, both Hàng Mã and Hàng Đồng were named Rue du Cuivre. At the beginning, the area comprised immigrant craftsman families making a living by creating joss papers and selling other tools and materials needed for spiritual customs, something that their descendants still pursue now. In today’s Hanoi, Hàng Mã has grown into a commercial community specialized in festive decorations for every occasion, from mid-autumn to Christmas to Tết.

In the eyes of local youths, the colorful street makes the best background for photoshoots, sometimes much to the ire of vendors. Here and there, hurried shoppers maneuver in between throngs of amateur photographers to grab a quick bauble or two to add the finishing touch to their home decoration.

Drop by the busy Hàng Mã for a glimpse into the world of Christmas decorations below:

A giant Christmas tree being put together in front of Nhà Thờ Lớn.

Warmly lit shop front enticing shoppers.

Look at the size of those balls!

The wondrous world of cheery decorations.

A store selling Christmas-themed toys.

Vendors hard at work assembling festive bows.

Andersen's tin soldier gone festive.

Snow-covered pine trees and soldiers are this year's hottest festive items.

Hàng Mã has baubles of all shapes and sizes for your adorning pleasures.

A breezy snowman that won't melt.

Whole trees with ready-placed decorations.

Santa costumes for the little people in our lives.

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