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, and so some countries don’t commemorate it.
For those trying to escape Christmas this year, these destinations are your best bet.
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).
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.
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, Israel, Tunisia and Afghanistan.