countries that don't celebrate christmas
Travel Tips

Countries that don’t celebrate Christmas

06/21/2016

Last updated on November 24th, 2019 at 01:41 am

Did you know there are many countries that don’t celebrate Christmas for different reasons?

If you’re looking to escape the festive seasons or simply vacation in a different environment. Here is a list of countries that don’t celebrate Christmas.

Who observes Christmas

Countries that don’t celebrate Christmas

What is Christmas

Christmas is the commemoration of the Nativity of Jesus.

It’s the story of baby Jesus, the virgin mother Mary, the father Joseph.

About 2000 years ago God sent an angel to Israel, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph, a carpenter. The angel told Mary that by God’s power, she would conceive and bear a son.

When Joseph learned that Mary was pregnant, an angel instructed him to marry her. Joseph took her to Bethlehem to register for a census.

While there, Mary gave birth to Jesus. She laid him in a manger because there was no room at the inn.

Shepherds visited Jesus in Bethlehem.

Later, wise men brought gifts to Jesus. They told Herod the Great, a wicked king, that Jesus would rule Israel.

So Herod sent soldiers to kill the children in Bethlehem. Warned by an angel, Joseph took his family to Egypt. After Herod died, they returned to Israel and raised Jesus in a town called Nazareth.

Churches that practice Christianity will perform Christmas plays that describe the night of the birth of baby Jesus in a manger.

What religions celebrate Christmas

Christian denominations of Catholicism, Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Oriental Orthodoxy, and Assyrians. 

Where is Christmas celebrated

Christmas is celebrated in predominantly Christian counties like The UK, USA, and most of their colonies.

Countries that don’t celebrate Christmas

Most offices, schools, and shops remain open on this day.

African Countries that don’t celebrate Christmas:

  • Algeria
  • Chad
  • Congo
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Morocco
  • Senegal
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Tunisia

Asian Countries that don’t celebrate Christmas

  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Bhutan
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Mongolia
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • The Maldives
  • Vietnam
  • North Korea

Middle East Countries that don’t celebrate Christmas

  • Afghanistan
  • Iran
  • Israel
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turkey
  • UAE
  • Uzbekistan
  • Yemen

Countries that don’t celebrate Christmas on 25 December

Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas Day on the 6th or 7th of January in the Gregorian calendar.

For most Orthodox Christians, Christmas is the beginning of celebrations after 40 days of fasting.

This date works to be December 25 in the Julian calendar, which pre-dates the Gregorian calendar.

  • Belarus
  • Ethiopia
  • Georgia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Macedonia
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Ukraine

What religion doesn’t celebrate Christmas 

Do Indians celebrate Christmas

The Indian subcontinent is the birthplace of four of the world’s major religions; namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism

How Hindus celebrate Christmas

Hindus in India do celebrate in December with a five-day holiday called Pancha Ganapati. The celebration begins on December 21 to celebrate the elephant-headed lord of culture and new beginnings.

Some festivities the Hindus partake in are outings, picnics, gift-giving, feasts, decorating their homes with pine boughs or durva grass, and putting up lights and ornaments.

The major portion of the celebration is putting up a statue of Ganesha in the home and dressing the statue for each day of the celebration in colors of yellow, blue, red, green, and orange.

How Buddhists celebrate Christmas

Christmas is a time of gift-giving and practicing peace and goodwill toward mankind. Buddhists can practice their religion and see the similarities between Buddhism and Christianity.

Buddhists celebrate the holidays by hanging up Christmas decorations in their temples, sending cards to loved ones, holding late-night vigils, and occasionally listen to Christmas music.

Do Muslims celebrate Christmas 

Muslims do believe in Jesus but do not believe he is God or the son of God.

According to the Islamic religion, Jesus’ birth was either in March or September based on the season indications in the Bible.

Another viewpoint of the Christmas holiday is that Christmas is really just a new purposed pagan celebration which is not supported by the Islamic religion.

The biggest Islam holiday is Ramadan, it’s more than just fasting. Ramadan is an amazing spiritual experience you should learn about.

Do Jehovah witnesses celebrate Christmas

Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate any holidays or even birthdays.

Do Jews celebrate Christmas

The Jewish do not celebrate Christmas, but instead, celebrate a holiday known as Chanukah (Hanukkah).

Chanukah is an eight-day festival of lights that is celebrated by a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers, and foods (fried). Chanukah memorializes the small army of Jews that defeated the mighty Greek Army in the second-century BCE.

The Jewish reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and as a symbol of reclaiming the temple, the menorah was to be lit; however, only a single cruse of olive oil was left. Even with a little bit of olive oil, the menorah was still lit and stayed lit for eight days.

To remember this wonder, Chanukah was created.

Is Christmas celebrated in Asia 

The majority of people for the former colonies of Singapore, Macau, and Hong Kong celebrate Christmas. 80% of the population in The Philippines are Catholic.

South Korea where there is quite a number of Protestants, and Japan where it’s as much shopping time as in the USA but no church apart from relatively few devout Western Christians.

At that, in the latter five countries, especially Korea Christmas and Japanese Kurisumasu hold much more secular commercial meaning than religious, and for the most part, neither Christmas that shuts down the West for a week, nor the New Year that shuts down Russia for almost two weeks, are holidays.

Do Chinese celebrate Christmas

Christmas is not a public holiday in Mainland China.

Do Russians celebrate Christmas

Russians celebrate Christmas on 7 January instead of 25 December.

The date is different because the Russian Orthodox Church uses the old ‘Julian’ calendar for religious celebration days.

During the Soviet Union era, Christmas was not celebrated. In fact, in 1929 Christmas was banned as a religious holiday and Christmas Trees were banned until 1935 when they turned into ‘New Year’ Trees.

Russians only started to openly observed Christmas again in 1992. In Russia, Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost) and his granddaughter Snegurochka (Snow Maiden) deliver presents to the children.

The official Christmas and New holidays in Russia last from December 31st to January 10th.

Which country celebrates Christmas in summer 

The seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere.

This means that in when it’s winter in Europe and North America it’s Summer in Australia, most African and South American countries.

Here’s a list of counties that have summer in December:

  • South Africa
  • Australia
  • Argentina
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Mauritius
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Oman
  • Singapore

Christmas Travel Guides

Travel Insurance for December Travel

Use travel insurance while visiting countries that don’t celebrate Christmas so you are covered for theft and medical expenses. There are a lot of adventurous activities to do around the world, and it’s best to have peace of mind while driving, hiking and trying some of the best food in the world.

Find out why I recommend World Nomads, check out my World Nomads Insurance review.

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a booking after clicking on a link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you!

1 Comment

  • Sophia
    12/21/2016 at 9:55 PM

    I have always dreamed of traveling the world. I envy you 🙂 🙂

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