The Christmas holiday is as much about family traditions as anything else – where the holidays are spent, what food is eaten, which games are played, and what gifts are given and received. Traditions, however, can evolve; can grow into something different year to year in order to best encompass the spirit of the season as you see it.
The magic of Asia rests with the diversity of its countries and its people; and the celebration of Christmas is no exception. The percentage of Christians in Asia is small; but with such a tremendous populace, that small percentage still translates into millions of people celebrating Christmas. There are so many wonderful ways to celebrate Christmas in Asia; so much to explore during this beautiful time of year.
So where to start?
Spending Christmas in Hong Kong is like dwelling in huge collection of fantasylands as theme parks adapt to this well-loved holiday. Snow-themed rides, tall Christmas trees and picturesque backdrops make one think he or she is being transported somewhere else. In a city well-known for majestic skyline all year long,Christmas celebration is an even grander affair to celebrate with the whole family.
The capital of Thailand is a perfect spot for those of you seeking hard-core fun during this festive season. After all, who has not heard of exotic massage centers, throbbing nightlife and delightful shopping in Bangkok? The city has a number of theme parks too, which keep visitors, especially the family vacationers, busy during their Bangkok tour. Although a big portion of Bangkok population is related to Buddhism, there is a considerable number of Christians too who celebrate Christmas with great zeal and enthusiasm. Shopping centers , churches and other places for fun & frolic in the city turn livelier at this festive season.
If there is anything that can score above the iconic grace of Singapore, it’s the Christmas celebration in the city. The entire island baths in the shower of lights with various cultural and fun-filled events happening all around.hristmas festivity of Rochard Road, marina Bay and Sentosa Island is a special delight for travelers. Also, this is the best time to enjoy rich cultures,cuisines and shopping in Singapore. Night parties at beaches and nightclubs bedazzle tourists and the locals alike.
A predominately Hindu and Muslim country, there are still over 25 million Christians in India, and Christmas is celebrated with the festive, colorful spirit that is typical of the country.Christians in India decorate mango and banana trees, hang star-shaped paper lanterns between homes, and decorate their rooftops with lit lanterns as a symbol of the light of Christ. Familiescelebrate Christmas by walking to Midnight Mass together – in churches that are decorated with copious numbers of red flowers – after which they feast on curries and other long-prepared foods andexchange gifts with each other. In the end, “Christmas Baba” delivers gifts to children by horse and cart.If you want to experience the real Christmas traditions in India, there is no better place tovisit than Goa. The coastal state draws hordes of tourists on Christmas, thanks to the vibrant festivity and amazing cultural extravaganza the state features this time of year. Goa beaches remain crowded with tourists and locals, enjoying various water sports and cultural events happening there. Churches are decorated exquisitely, and witness prayer and carols at midnight. After that parties begin in Goan nightclubs and discotheques. Even Goa hotels arrange various music and dance program where many renowned celebrities come to entertain the people.
One interesting place to celebrate Christmas is in Tokyo, Japan. A department store in Tokyo once displayed a crucified chocolate Santa Claus, showing the owner’s apparent confusion of how to celebrate Christmas.Many Japanese treat Christmas like a cross between the more famous Valentine’s Day and Easter celebrations with more drinking and merry-making than celebrating the birth of Christ. This makes Christmas even more exciting in Tokyo because it shows the deep influence of the celebration even in predominantly non-Christian countries like Japan.
Christmas in China is a relatively small affair, mostly celebrated privately with family and friends in the home.Those who celebrate, decorate their homes with glowing paper lanterns, and “Trees of Light” – their version of Christmas Trees. Santa Claus visits China as well and is known as “Christmas Old Man.”
The population of the Philippines is largely Catholic – one of the two Asian countries that have a Catholic majority – and so the Christmas celebration here is known as the longest in the world –as early as September through the beginning of January. There are masses held throughout the season, culminating in the traditional Midnight Mass, parties, and decorations – including the traditional “pah-role,” a lighted star on top of a bamboo pole, caroling, feasts, and celebrations of many kinds.
While Christmas is considered more commercial than religious in Malaysia, it is celebratedwith excitement. There are traditionally decorated stores – complete with Christmas trees, stockings, and the like; and shopping is abig affair associated with this time of year. Christians in Malaysia – which make up about 7% of the population – celebrate Christmas with private religious observance.