Navigation Menu

Join women only small group tours

Christmas is celebrated differently all over the world, and every country has their own traditional way of celebrating the holiday season.

While Christmas is now largely a secular holiday celebrated by over 160 countries, it was traditionally a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, so there are some countries that don’t celebrate Christmas at all.

For those trying to escape Christmas this year, these destinations are your best bet. If you’re looking for Christmas gifts to organize for family and friends before you bolt from the country, you can find ideas on review sites like ReviewedPAPA.

Countries That Don’t Celebrate Christmas


The population of Morocco is predominantly Muslim, so Christmas is not a major holiday.

While you won’t be bombarded with an onslaught Christmas lights and carolling choirs, walking the streets of Marrakech will see you bear witness to hundreds of brightly colored lanterns, and enveloped by the sound of the adhan (Muslim call to prayer), and can enjoy a traditional Moroccan breakfast on Christmas day.

Things to do in Istanbul


The population of Thailand is Buddhist, and while a large number of Christians live in the capital of Bangkok, December 25 passes as just another day.

In Thailand for Christmas?  Thailand’s warm temperature at this time of the year makes it easy to spend Christmas day on the beach.


Have two Christmas’ this year and head to Russia come January!

The Russian Orthodox church doesn’t celebrate Christmas until January 7, the date being different because the church uses the old ‘Julian’ calendar for religious celebration days.


Like Morocco, Turkey is largely a Muslim country.  While there are a number of Christian communities, once again, December 25 passes by as just another day.

But don’t worry – Istanbul’s stunning sites and vibrant neighbourhoods should be enough distract you from the lack of Christmas spirit.


The Maldives

99 percent Muslim, you won’t find any mention of Christmas while in the Maldives.  But it’s not an overly horrible way to spend the holidays!

Stretches of white sand beaches, crystal clear waters; and if you’re truly longing for christmas lights, just throw on some scuba gear and dive down to witness the vibrant colours of the Maldives’ coral reefs.

Other Countries That Don’t Celebrate Christmas:

Vietnam, Somalia, Laos, Cambodia, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, Iraq, China, Congo, Algeria, Yemen, Kazakhstan, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Iran, Azerbaijan, Comoros, Oman, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Bhutan, Nepal, North Korea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Tajikistan, Bahrain, Tunisia and Afghanistan.

Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.


  1. this is precisely why im leaving norway this year and heading somewhere that doesnt celebrate ;) things shut down for an entire week here in norway and i just get realllllly bored. so i try to flee. it almost worked last year but in the end, i ended up stuck here bored for a week :) not happening this year.

    regardless of whether or not you celebrate, have a great holiday :)

    • Surprisingly as opposed to shutting down, things here in the US have become supercharged! I feel like I’m living in a Christmas movie with all of the Christmas cheer lol and don’t even get me started on the christmas music which plays on loop at the resort I work at!

      Now I sound like the grinch…maybe I should head to the Maldives…meet you there :D!!

      Merry Christmas :)

    • I love Christmas

    • i would say Singapore is a nice place even though they’re celebrate x’mas it’s still nice to hang out. and Bali Indonesia too. just for relaxation.

    • I agree :) … Haven’t yet been to Singapore but would love to get there soon. Indonesia is on the list too :)

    • Another country that doesn’t celebrate Christmas is China – yeah I had to teach at the public school I’m at – but lots blue Christmas Trees in the malls!

    • Wow, blue Christmas trees?! Crazy!! Thanks for sharing your experience Dan :)

    • that really helped me through my school as you know christmas is nearly here merry christmas and a happy new year

    • I’m glad we could help with your school project Trinity :) Happy Christmas … wishing you a wonderful new year also :)

    • Cool. I will be having a very merry Christmas this year at school.

    • Poor you

  2. Dear Megan and Mike, thanks for this rough survey about who is celebrating christmas and who isn’t. Interesting to get the opinions from Noprway and the us. As Founder of the Travel Agents Community I might say that of course Travel Agents are happy to arrange for a lot of people in these days.their own escape from ort to Christmas. So nevertheless where you are in these days. In the winter or in the sun, X-mas overloaded or missing some X-Mas ambience – just enjoy with your beloved ones some nice moments and think about the important things in life.
    Thanks for this blog and keep the hard work in 2014. Best regards Michael Gebhardt

    • Thanks Michael. Happy Holidays and Safe Travels :)

      Meg and Mike

  3. China celebrates Christmas in the contemporary commercial way, at least in the cities and at least among who can afford it. In fact, it seems to be growing there all the time.

    • Commercial Christmas does seem to be taking over the world at large. I guess we’re all human and will always take up an excuse for a holiday!!

      Have a wonderful holiday season :)

  4. Interesting! I’m pretty “meh” about Christmas these days, would much rather be travelling during it instead ;)

    • I’ve gotten to the same point! Maybe bump into you somewhere around the world while we’re both escaping Christmas!

    • Funny how Christmas in most parts of the world is now more a commercial holiday than a religious one!

    • DDDDDAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHRRRRRRRRRRRR! I love Christmas! You are acting like that movie Christmas With The Kranks when Mr. Krank tries to skip Christmas for a 10 day cruise. So, have fun doing so!

    • Congo celebrate Christmas.The majority of the population of the country are Catholics.The fastest growing religion in Sub-Saharan Africa, Carribean (Haiti, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Tribango etc), Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Guyana, Souriname etc) is PENTECOSTALISM.Look the religion map of Africa here:

  5. interesting! I love to celebrate Christmas! Thanks for the post! Happy and safe travels :)

    • Glad you enjoyed the post :) Wishing you a wonderful holiday season this year!

  6. Though Tokyo Japan is a Christmas haven, if you drive 40 miles to Kiyoto, there is absolutely nothing there but gorgeousness.
    Kiyoto is really the hub of Japan culture.
    Absolutely gorgeous gardens and buildings and you might even run into a Geisha or two!

    • Interesting, thanks for the tip Michael! I loved Japan while I was there, though haven’t traveled during holiday season yet, so i may have to change that by planning a trip for next Christmas!

  7. hello

    • Hi Kyral – thankyou for finding our blog :)

  8. I am visiting Istanbul right now, and although it is true that it is not easy to find signs of Christmas here, it is possible. This morning I wok up in the Galata district to the sounds of someone playing Jingle Bells on the street. There are also small Christmas displays in some shops. Over dinner with a few locals last night, I understand that in some neighbourhoods where there are many expats, Christmas is a big thing on the 24-25. I am loving the downplayed season though. I’m not a huge fan of the over-hyped, commercialization of Christmas.

  9. I am in Istanbul right now and although it’s true that signs of Christmas are not prevalent, they are not absent. Some shops have small displays of Santa and Christmas trees. Had dinner with a few locals last night and they report that in neighbourhoods where expats are many, Christmas decorations and celebrations are in full force the week before Christmas. I am loving the less hyped up version of the holidays, though. No desire to here Mariah Carey sing “I’ll I want for Christmas” on an endless loop. :)

    • Lol thanks Deb for sharing your experience! I’m a little over that song too – funny how it was released in what, the 90’s? And it’s still played like viral over the holiday season!

      So glad you still got to experience the joy of Christmas with locals and expats alike, though with what sounds like much less commercialism.

      I hope you had a wonderful holiday season!

  10. Another really great escape from Christmas is Cuba. I travelled there at the end of December 2006 specifically to escape everything Christmas, and it was the best decision. The only sign of it was a glimpse of a Christmas tree inside someone’s home, but other than that, nothing. Even though it’s a predominantly Catholic country culturally, Fidel Castro declared it atheist during his era and December 25 was a regular working day up until the Pope visited in 1998. Cuba’s major industry is tourism and likely more signs of Christmas will appear over time, but for now I would say it’s a cheaper and closer escape from the season’s annoyances versus the Buddhist or Muslim alternatives.

    • Thanks for the tip Gail – would love to travel to Cuba and experience the country and culture, and it sounds like Christmas may just be a brilliant time to travel!

      Thanks for sharing your experience :)

  11. We are living in Thailand and they don’t celebrate it but OOOOO do they decorate for it! Every mall and store is full of xmas decor! They even poured salt all over the ground in a shopping mall by my house to make it look like snow….

    • Wow lol snow in Thailand! Kind of cool that they take the opportunity to decorate for it – interesting though that they decorate but stop there!

    • I would say that going all out in decorating , including the salt is their way of celebrating it.

    • Very true, I guess now that it’s such a widely interpreted holiday, different regions of the world will have their own way of celebrating it, even if it’s not the Christian idea of what it should be :)

  12. there are much more countries that don’t celebrate chritsmas.

    • Feel free to let us know if we missed any :) There is the list of 35 extra countries who don’t celebrate Christmas which was included at the end of the post as well :)

  13. This is a very important post. I want to visit a country that does not celebrate chrismas, probably Morocco

    • So glad you enjoyed it Wilfred. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas this year – hope you have a wonderful trip to Morocco or wherever your travels may take you :)

    • Hi does anyone know where Christmas comes from ? I couldn’t find any mention in bible I did find the Magi from the East in Matthew chapter 2 verse 11 quote On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother etc. No barn says house. It does say that when Mary & Joe got to Bethlehem they couldn’t find a room like 2:6 . For her labor they used a barn even Shepard’s witness. I guess because he was the lamb of God. Common sense would be they would find suitable shelter eventually and it says so in Matthew 2:11.Also weather there is about the same as New England . If outside then it wouldn’t be cold so it must be perhaps spring definitely not winter .So I would love to know where this huge holiday came from ?

    • Hi Janet, Quoting a Britannica source, the celebration of Christmas started in Rome about 336 (but it did not become a major Christian festival until the 9th century). Many Christmas traditions, such as decorating trees, started in Germany and later spread to other parts of the world, notably England and the United States. More about the origin and evolution of the holiday into contemporary times here:

      Hope that helps!

  14. I really liked reading about this and about the countries that you included, Megan. I’ll always remember being in Koh Chang in Thailand and seeing a lone Christmas Tree on the beach and that being really the only reminder that we were spending the holiday in paradise. It really doesn’t sink in like it used to for me, and people should know about that first time and how it feels to not see the festive decorations.

    I’d consider myself more of a Festivus type but do get a little homesick when away from home and not seeing tons of streets lit up with Christmas lights. I guess you can say that Korea celebrates Christmas, as they have a pretty significant portion of people celebrating. They do love their Neon lights as well but for some reason, they don’t always apply them during Christmas.

    Sure I’ve seen some displays in Seoul and in touristy locations in and around the country but for the most part where I live, the lights aren’t a common thing. Two memories I’ll cherish have to do with light festivals held in and around our humble surroundings here in coastal Korea.

    One is at the famed Boseong Green Tea Fields where they light up the whole place and let people walk around in December and in January. There’s a smaller light ceremony here in Yeosu and held for longer, between December and February. Both of those are great ways to see lights and sort of force yourself into the Christmas spirit when the time comes.

    Thanks for sharing this post, Megan. It really made me appreciate what I will be coming home to in the near future. I’m not a fan of the commercialism and such with Christmas. For me, it’s the lights as you can see☺

    Take Care.

    • Thanks for sharing your experiences Duke with Christmas in Korea – I think it definitely is a little bit of a shock to the system that first trip you take where there’s just nothing in the way of holiday decorations or celebration, though I’ve often found the shock comes the day after Christmas, after it passes just like any other day and you realize it’s gone!

      The light displays at the Boseong Green Tea Fields sound absolutely magical, and I’ll have to remember to visit if we find ourselves in Korea around that time. I don’t buy into the commercialism either, though it is nice to have something going on which commemorates the festive season – even if it’s enjoying the beauty of a tradition like lights :)

      Happy travels Duke!

  15. Well…these countries are on my list of “not to visit during December”. Hehehe! I love Christmas so much! I can’t imagine not celebrating it!

    • Lol glad we could help narrow down your Christmas destination list then :) One of my favorite times of the year too – though sometimes it is actually quite nice to find a desert island somewhere and escape :D

  16. For those of you wanting to escape christmas in United states go to Disney World they dont celebrate there at all:)

    • Thanks for the tip Michael! Totally wouldn’t have picked that!

  17. I have lived in plenty of non Christmas places And although they make an effort and trees always come up, because of commercial reasons, the feeling is always muted. If you’re not in s shopping mall you don’t feel it. Plus for me Christmas is not Christmas without the cold! So being in Singapore even if there are trees everywhere the heat just kills the feeling ?

    • Ah see I’m on the other side of the world so Christmas for me doesn’t feel like Christmas if it’s not blazingly hot and on a beach somewhere :D I agree though I honestly think that you mainly feel the “spirit” in the malls. They tend to put on a pretty big show!

  18. Interesting, I am excited to celebrate Christmas.

    • Wishing you a wonderful Christmas break :)

  19. Morocco sounds perfect for me this time of year!

    • Sounds like a plan in the works for a last minute trip! :D

  20. Hi Megan, love the article but I just want to update you that Jordan does celebrate Christmas! OK, so it’s not as big and commercial as in the west, but there is a large Christian community here which celebrates, you will find Christmas trees and decorations in most hotels/restaurants/businesses around the country as well as a huge Christmas display and celebration in The Boulevard in Amman (the main cultural centre in the capital city). This all happens on Dec 25th, then for the Egyptian Coptic Christians and Greek orthodox we do it all again in Jan same as the Russians!

    • Thanks for the note Suzanne .. I’ll update the post and remove Jordan from the list. Very cool that between the various religions Jordan essentially celebrates twice!

  21. I think you need a bit to inform yourself before you post things.Christmas is one of the biggest and the most celebrate holiday in Eritrea.Eritrea has more than 50 Orthodox christian and about 5 percent Catholic and protestant followers. We do celebrate Christmas happily and colorfully–just for your information

    • Hi there :) Thanks for letting us know about Eritrea. I have removed it from the list. It was included here because of the percentage of Orthadox Christians who follow the Gregorian calendar and celebrate the day on January 7, like Russia.

      From what you are saying though, it sounds like it is a pretty even split.

      Sounds like Eritrean youngsters celebrate Christmas on 25 December like we do in the West, but many Eritreans, mainly the elderly, take December 25 as a normal day?


  22. 50% I mean

  23. Around Christmas I Always feel nostalgic.
    I live in Switzerland where celebrations were mostly religiuos but now are starting to become more commercial.
    No Christmas magic anymore, just this feeling of loss.
    Cities gets empty and people disappear from the streets and everyithing feel soo sad.
    I don’t like it anymore…

    So I was home the other day, thinking of what could I do to make my next Christmas more special and then it hit me: What if I get on a plane and spend Christmas in different places, all in the same journey…?
    Has anybody ever tried to organize a vacation to celebrate Christmas around the world?

    I know of people who went on a trip to celebrate New Year’s Eve around the world but I can’t find a single informations about a similar trip for Christmas celebration.

    Did anybody tried before?

    • Hi Sonia, sounds like a great idea to try and organize a Christmas vacation around the world. you could probably start December 1 as this is when most countries start celebrations and hanging their decorations, and travel right through until January 7 for the Orthadox Christmas celebrations if you had that much time :)

      A lot of the Christmas markets throughout Western Europe run until early January, so even after December 25 most cities are still celebrating the festive season :)

      All the best in planning your trip!

  24. Sorry for my english, I didn’t check the spelling before posting…

  25. Wut? We celebrate christmas all over Egypt! We celebrate it on the 25th because that’s the widely known christmas, and also on the 7th of January for the orthodox christians who make up 15% of our country. We even know who santa is, we call him Papa Noel (Derived from the french meaning of Father Christmas). Even kids here believe that he’ll leave presents!

    • Thanks for sharing your knowledge and letting us know about Egypt Joe – it was included here because of the percentage of Coptic Orthadox Christians who follow the Gregorian calendar and celebrate the day on January 7, like Russia.

      I probably should have been clearer in defining that I was writing about “Christmas” as meaning a celebration on the 25th – I was aware that January 7 was observed, though not that the 25th was considered a significant holiday too.

      From what you are saying though, it sounds like it is a pretty even split.


  26. Being from North America I didn’t have a clue about which countries do and don’t celebrate! For me personally, Christmas is about family time, exchanging gifts, and celebrations. I feel like its modern sense transcends religion, well in North America anyways!
    I guess if we end up in the Maldives this year we will have to bring a little bit of Christmas with us!

    • Maldives over Christmas sounds like an amazing way to spend the upcoming holidays Lindsay! Even if you have to take a little bit of the festivities with you :)

  27. Great post, Megan, your article is definitely precise. Personally, I do not want to live there, the only reason is I cannot live without celebrating Christmas and it will not complete if there’s not fireworks display in the sky.

    Nevertheless, it is a glad to discover that there are many Countries don’t celebrating Christmas, sad to hear but it a culture and beliefs.

    • Thanks Betty! Yes, whether a country celebrates Christmas usually comes down to their culture. Though I’m starting to find that as the world westernizes, and becomes so connected, the commercial aspect of Christmas is being picked up almost everywhere.

      Wishing you a wonderful holiday season :)

  28. Pretty interesting! I had no idea that the Maldives didn’t celebrate Christmas….I guess if I was there during the holidays I wouldn’t complain though! :)

    • I wouldn’t much mind missing Christmas one year if it was for the Maldives either :D

    • Interesting to celebrate Christmas and New Year is Albania.

    • Thanks for sharing Lorenc :)

  29. I cannot live without celebrating Christmas Eve, seeing shining glimmering is my joy and all my stress it takes away because of the spirit of Christmas. That is why on this Christmas I will much more significant. Happy Mary Christmas everyone.

    Ohh, I’ve almost forgotten, I love the information of this article, I have a new discovery of the different culture celebrating and not celebrating Christmas. :D

    • Merry Christmas Brian :) I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the article – even though we love to celebrate the festive season, it’s always fascinating to learn about other cultures who do things differently :)

      Happy holidays X

  30. May I ask a stupid question to people who live in America? I recently heard that are some states in America that asked not to celebrate Xmas. Is that true or is it BS (pardon my French)? I mean K, we know that some people are really pissed that Santa is a fictitious, but come on, to that extent? Thanks in advance for your answers. Have a nice holiday whatever you do!

    • Hi Irene – pretty sure that Christmas is celebrated in all States of America; and it’s done so on a pretty grand scale, so I think whoever told you that was probably mistaken or telling a white lie. Obviously there are individuals who don’t celebrate the holiday, but on a national level, it’s definitely present in each State.

      I could of course be mistaken, but I would be very surprised.

      Hope that helps!

  31. Hi Folks, I wouldn’t say that Christmas is largely a secular Holiday. Perhaps some folks don’t quite understand it’s true meaning but that doesn’t change it into anything other than what it has always been. Merry Christmas Everyone! Brian

    • Thanks Brian! Largely I agree with you that Christmas still holds it’s traditional meaning for a lot of the world – I think it’s going to depend on where you go though, and perhaps that it becomes a little more secular as new generations adopt new traditions and beliefs.

      Merry Christmas! Wishing you a wonderful new year X

    • Hi Meg, Thanks for getting back to me. I appreciate you taking the time. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. With respect to anyone who believes in anything that has love and peace as it’s core, Merry Christmas! Here is a song that I wrote about it. I hope you like it and I sure hope that it is OK that I sent it along All the best Brian

      Merry Christmas! The Brian Maes Band – YouTube

    • Thankyou for sharing your song :)

  32. I had no idea on some of these countries. It’s interesting that Russia celebrates January 7th. I’m not sure I could live somewhere that Christmas is not celebrated. I think it’s also important to remember that each culture and country do celebrate Christmas in their own way, just not in the way that I do. Merry Christmas!

    • Great point Sara … yes, there are many different variance in how Christmas is celebrated around the world based on culture and different traditions. That might be our next post – different Christmas traditions around the world!

      Merry Christmas :)

    • I’m open to seeing how other culture’s celebrate Christmas. Here in the USA we’re conditioned to buying stuff for people that are the most important to us. As you get older this practice gets old. I’m very interested in what other cultures do during this time.

    • We’re the same here in Australia, I agree, it kind of gets old after a while – my husband and I don’t buy each other Christmas gifts anymore because we don’t like it feeling forced that you “have” to buy someone something.

      But we too love exploring different Christmas traditions around the world and it’s always so interesting to see how other people celebrate the holidays!

    • I just want to mention that if you ask an Orthodox Christian why they celebrate on Jan 7th, they will explain that they are celebrating according to the traditional Calendar used at the time of our Saviour’s Birth, and by the Orthodox since then, called the Julian Calendar. They celebrate on DEC 25th, according to the Julian Calendar. For them when it’s Dec 25th on the Gregorian Calendar—changed by Pope Gregory—it’s Dec 12th and they celebrate St Spyridon and St Herman of Alaska. So they are not really celebrating Christmas in January, but on their December 25th, which is the original one before the calendar was changed. (For those in the U.S., England was still on the Julian Calendar when America was established and that’s why some documents are dated o.s., meaning Old Style.) The Orthodox have a very rich tradition of getting ready for Nativity with a 40 day fast from meat and dairy, and many beautiful hymns and chants starting days before to prepare spiritually for the Feast. Then they celebrate Christ’s Birth for 12 days, until the Feast of His Baptism. During that 12 days they greet one another with “Christ is Born!” And the other person replies “Glorify Him!”

    • Hi Sonia, thanks for sharing your knowledge on the Orthodox traditions and providing such detail in depth. It does sound like they have very rich and beautiful celebrations :)

      Happy Christmas!

  33. Your blog was amazing
    Have you been to Indonesia? In some areas of Indonesia also didn’t celebrate Christmas because the majority here are Muslims, but most Muslims here also often celebrate Christmas as it has a multi-religious family.
    Besides here many diverse travel destinations that could be an option if you’re wanting a tropical holiday and the destinations to escape the winter :)

    • So glad you enjoyed the post Handa :)

      We have not yet been to Indonesia, though with it’s 17 – 18,000 islands, there’s definitely a lot of choice! Hopefully we will have the chance to travel soon.

      It’s fantastic to hear that many families celebrate out of respect for the diverse religions of their family members. Hopefully this kind of religious tolerance can be a positive message for the rest of the world to live in peace with one another :)

  34. Mostly I see every Culture celebrate Christmas. in India Christmas is also celebrated.

    • In some shape or form you’re probably right, these days the world has become globalized to the point where I think it’s at least internationally recognized and people know what the holiday is about :)

    • Abhishek, In India only Christians Celebrate Christmas. and its only 2.3% of total we can’t say that Indians also celebrate Christmas.

    • Thanks for the info Gaurav :)

  35. Megan, that’s a great list!

    Instead of celebrating Christmas, travelling to a Muslim or a Buddhist country is a much better choice :)

    The only thing I love about this time of the year in Europe are the Christmas markets. But when it comes to exchanging gifts (read: commercialism) and family gatherings (read: who’s got the most annoying story to tell and thing to complain about), I’d rather be someplace else.


    • Glad you enjoyed the post! Totally agreed that the Christmas markets in Europe are worth traveling for – such a beautiful sense of community and atmosphere, great people, food, local crafts, and a beautiful setting always!

      But yes, I’m quite over the commercial nature of Christmas too.

      Hope you have a wonderful holiday this year :)

  36. nilufar from iran. most of us are muslim but we have christian people also! so we celebrate chrismas in our streets.specially in the capital of iran (tehran).tnx

    • Hi Nilufar, thanks for updating us on Christmas in Iran. It’s fantastic to hear that you embrace such diversity in Tehran :)

  37. I don’t think like. There are many mine friend’s living Turkey and they celebrate Christmas. anyhow, Law is different and tradition is different.What applies in society is sometimes different rather what is law of land.

    • Totally agree Davis, that society behaviors and attitudes usually change quicker than religious traditions and the law, I think that the world is very global nowadays so Christmas is taking on a new meaning in how it is celebrated, and with a new secluar approach to celebration, it is being acknowledged in places where it hasn’t been before :)

  38. I agree too with Davis, somehow this is the debate between the old school of thought and new school of thought. Although Christmas is a religious event but in now these days it Celebrated with a new approach.Now Turkey is secular land rather religious and more religious tolerated society other than.

    • It is true, in recent years Christmas has become more widespread around the world, with many countries who don’t celebrate for religious regions, picking up the secular celebration and traditions. So I think you have summed it up well that the perspective is a difference of old school / new school thought.

  39. I understand you are saying that most people in those countries don’t celebrate Christmas, but if there’s a neighbourhood or family who wants to, they can do it, right?
    And, as some people have said, I also love the European Christmas markets.

    • For sure, there are always going to be exceptions as many countries these days are quite multicultural and diverse. So it’s probably a generalization to say that a whole country doesn’t celebrate Christmas, when there will always be an exception, or a minority who do acknowledge the tradition.

      Totally with you on the European Christmas markets – they’re the best!

  40. I think Russia & Maldives are best countries from my point of view too. Maldives is closest and easy to get VISA too for most of the country and had best beaches and adventure options & Russia is always priority place for all who prefer world travel. Thanks Megan for sharing the posts and experience, Don’t you think Australia too is a good option to travel in December? Just joking!!

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Winni – yes, Russia and the Maldives are both great choices :)

      Haha Australia during December is great, but peak season so man it’s busy! And stupidly hot too lol!! I’ve met many people who find it funny we have out Christmas celebrations in shorts and flip flops!

  41. One country is missing in the list and that is Pakistan. It’s a Muslim populated country and i never see any Christmas celebration in here, although on 25 December we have public holiday due to our founder born on this date.

    • Thanks for sharing your information on Pakistan – so interesting that your public holiday to celebrate your founder falls on the same day!

  42. hohohomerrychristmas

    • And to you :)

  43. Thank you for posting countries that don’t celebrate christmas! I’m happy they exist! I don’t like christmas at all and wonder what the point is in celebrating it anyway. Just to spend a lot of money and overeat? Many people are in debt after such holidays, while if you save that money you could actually be much better off. And by not eating, nobody would have to ‘lose weight’ afterwards.
    As to the religious aspects, it’s actually a pagan holiday if you start investigating the origins.
    Anyway, to each their own! Any person should do as they see fit for themselves.

    • Ofcourse i meant: by not ‘overeating’ instead of by not eating. :)

    • You’re welcome Do. Yes, it’s pretty much a commercial holiday nowadays and the traditional purpose of the holiday does seem to have been lost by time.

      I agree that it’s an indulgent holiday, but as you said, each to their own! We use it as an excuse to come together as a family and celebrate time together. Our family now does a “secret santa” where we only buy one gift, and everyone gets only one gift. Cuts out the debt that way!!

  44. Thanks this helped me so mush?

    • I’m glad Falisha! Happy holidays :)

  45. Wow !! There are many places that do not celebrate Christmas … more than I imagined. Here where I live everyone enjoys this time of the year especially for shopping and parties.

    • Glad you found the post interesting Beatriz :) Usually it’s not Christian countries which don’t celebrate Christmas, though many have now adopted it as a commercial holiday since it’s become so widespread. But definitely some solid options for travel if you’re looking to escape the shopping and parties one year :D

  46. I am from Delhi and now I am in the Maldives for holiday and I think this is the best place for holiday

    • Glad to hear you’re enjoying your time in the Maldives! A fabulous country isn’t it! :)

  47. Well! I never knew that there are so many countries that don’t celebrate Christmas. The list is too long. And Russia celebrating Christmas on 7th jan is also something new to us . Great post as always Meg

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Suruchi! Maybe some inspiration for a Christmas escape this year :D

    • I just want to mention that if you ask an Orthodox Christian why they celebrate on Jan 7th, they will explain that they are celebrating according to the traditional Calendar used at the time of our Saviour’s Birth, and by the Orthodox since then, called the Julian Calendar. They celebrate on DEC 25th, according to the Julian Calendar. For them when it’s Dec 25th on the Gregorian Calendar—changed by Pope Gregory—it’s Dec 12th and they celebrate St Spyridon and St Herman of Alaska. So they are not really celebrating Christmas in January, but on their December 25th, which is the original one before the calendar was changed. (For those in the U.S., England was still on the Julian Calendar when America was established and that’s why some documents are dated o.s., meaning Old Style.) The Orthodox have a very rich tradition of getting ready for Nativity with a 40 day fast from meat and dairy, and many beautiful hymns and chants starting days before to prepare spiritually for the Feast. Then they celebrate Christ’s Birth for 12 days, until the Feast of His Baptism. During that 12 days they greet one another with “Christ is Born!” And the other person replies “Glorify Him!” It is not a secular holiday but a truly beautiful celebration of Christ’s birth as the Saviour of mankind from sin and death.

    • Hi Sonia, thanks for sharing your knowledge on the Orthodox traditions and providing such detail in depth. It does sound like they have very rich and beautiful celebrations :)

      Happy Christmas!

  48. nice blog
    intresting for reading

    • Glad you enjoyed the post :)

  49. Well, Most of the places where people do not enjoy Christmas in India as well, well do you think everyone can enjoy the festival of Christmas, as people go as per their religion.

    • Thanks for the info… yes, I have read that India is quite religiously diverse :)

  50. Interesting, but I love Christmas!

    • Same :D

  51. Thanks for this rough survey about who is celebrating Christmas and who isn’t.

    • You’re welcome, glad it was interesting :)

  52. i new that allredy :)

    • Hope you enjoyed the post anyway :)

  53. I would say Christmas is for children.

    I stopped celebrating Christmas years ago following an epiphany I experienced whilst stood queueing with my Christmas shopping in a supermarket one year; a supermarket which resembled a lunatic asylum during a full moon. I thought to myself: ‘I don’t have to do this anymore.’

    That would be the last time I celebrated Christmas and I’ve never looked back.

    I actually hate Christmas now. In recent decades Christmas has turned into a months’ long Black Friday event that starts in September, and even earlier on shopping channels.

    Christmas Day is a normal day for me now. It’s wonderful. I feel like I’ve escaped from a prison of mass hysteria.

    • I know many adults who love Christmas, but I personally do agree with you. My husband and I don’t have children, and we don’t really celebrate Christmas. We don’t buy into the commercialism, we don’t decorate or put up a tree, and we won’t really be doing anything special on the day, we usually just spend the day with family.

      Lol your epiphany Christmas shopping sounds about right!! You’ve described the Christmas chaos quite aptly!! I don’t hate Christmas, I but I do hate the commercial holiday it’s turned into and the materialism that plagues most of society. I mean, you don’t need a reason to give your family a gift, or spend time with them, or do something nice. Do this throughout the rest of the year because you want to, not because you’re forced to on a specific day.

      When we do have kids, we will probably start celebrating Christmas again, but will be making sure that it’s celebrated on its more traditional values, and not turned into an occasion where they expect $500 in toys and throw tantrums otherwise. Escaping Christmas sounds pretty good to me though until then!

      Happy December :D

  54. I’m glad to find a list of entire countries that do not celebrate Christmas. Makes me feel less alone. I live alone and do not celebrate Christmas, but do ‘play along’ as much as required by my relatives. To me, in the whole spectrum of things, it is just another day. It can be a good day, or a bad day, just like any other, but I do hope you have a good day!

    • You’re definitely not alone, there are many, many countries around the world that don’t celebrate. Our approach these days is similar to yours, we play along with the day for relatives sake, but all in all it’s pretty much just another day :)

      Happy new year!

  55. Uh most of us Japanese here in japan do NOT celebrate xmas either. Please do not take the words of anime, manga or the dozens online ignorant or clueless gaijins who ONLY see and or live in tiny areas of Japan know as Shinjuku, Shibuya or Osaka etc aka the tourist/foreign areas. But in Japan proper we again do NOT celebrate christmas nor do we eat kfc or McDonald. sigh..

    • Thanks for the local insight Tatsuda :)

      Happy new year!

    • # McDonald Restaurants in countries as per Wikipedia…

      1. United States 13,515
      2. China 3,500
      3. Japan. 2,900

  56. In India, we have govt holiday on Christmas, people celebrate Christmas on office and schools but not at home, we also called Christmas as “Bada Din” means Big day.

    • Thanks for sharing Sunil, really interesting to hear that you celebrate in offices and schools but not so much personally once at home. Thanks for sharing your experience :)

  57. Very Nice and informative post that some of the countries are not celebrating Christmas.

    • Thanks Meenakshi, I’m glad you enjoyed the post :)

  58. Nice Article, Christmas is a traditional festival and joyful festival.

    • Thanks Advik, glad you enjoyed the post :)

  59. Wow, Interesting Post on Christmas.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Mayur :)

  60. Very Informatic post, but in our country we celebrate christmas and go to church with our christians friends. sorry my bad english.
    thank you ASHUTOSH (

    • Thanks for sharing your country’s culture Ashutosh – which country do you come from?

  61. Hello there! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains. If you know of any please share. Thank you!|

    • Hi Harvey, I recommend using Yoast SEO :) For Keyword research you can use

      Hope that helps!

  62. Nice information,

    Thanks for sharing Meg :)

    • You’re welcome Anu, glad you enjoyed the post :)

  63. Awesome work… thanks

    • Glad you enjoyed the post – happy travels this Christmas!

  64. I love Christmas festival and i also love to go church and it gave me lots of peace while sitting in church. I liked your content, thank you for sharing this wonderful blog.

    • So glad to hear you enjoyed the post Shabnam, wishing you a wonderful Christmas season for this upcoming year :)

  65. Appreciate this post so much, look out Maldives!
    Though, Israel celebrates Christmas, heavily, just FYI.

    • The Maldives is probably my favorite! Thanks for the tip on Israel celebrating Christmas, I’ll make an edit to take them out from the list.

      Thanks for reading Catherine – enjoy the Maldives!

  66. Appreciate this post so much, look out Maldives!

    • Have an amazing time! The Maldives are an incredible vacation spot :)

  67. Oh, I’m spending Christmas in Turkey!

    • Have an amazing time! Turkey is such a wonderful country :)

  68. Naran kaghan valley

    • That’s in Pakistan? Would love to visit Pakistan at some point :) Thanks for sharing Vicky.

  69. I hate Christmas, its PAGAN and has roots that go all the way to Babylon to the worship of Nimrod himself. And Christmas is Roman Catholicism in ithe words its XMass

    • Perfect post for you then! I you’ve found a fun place for this year to escape :)

  70. Hi, Happy new year and i wish god bless you.
    I’m from Iran and a Muslim, we celebrate Christmas but not public.

    • Thankyou for letting us know! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas this year :) Happy New Year in 2020!

  71. We lived in Dubai for 10 years and really enjoyed ourselves. Although it was indeed a Muslim country, they were very liberal and there were christian churches in the centre of the city. Christmas was a big deal and celebrated by just about everyone who lived there, from all sorts of faiths.

    • Thanks for sharing your experiences from Dubai Rick, it sounds like a wonderful cross cultural mix :)

  72. hi

  73. why is Chistmas a thing????????

    • Hi Lillyanna, Christmas is a Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus. The English term Christmas (“mass on Christ’s day”) is of fairly recent origin :)

  74. Unfortunately, despite that most of population of Uzbekistan are muslims, they celebrate Christmas. Mostly the people in those behavior impacted SSSR

    • Thank you for sharing this insight Rajabova :)

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *