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How Asians Celebrate Christmas

Christmas in Asia celebrated in a big way irrespective of the smaller number of Christians and Catholics compared to the rest of the world. Most of the Asian countries does not recognize Christmas as a public holiday.

World’s longest Christmas season is celebrated in Philippines which begins on September 1st, every year.

Missionaries and colonists have introduced Christian holidays to many countries of Asia.

chinese tea

The big shopping malls heavily capitalize during the Christmas season as people love to shop for their near and dear ones.

Let’s find out how the Christmas is celebrated in Asian Counties.


Only around 2% of the population is claiming Christianity as a religion in India; Hinduism and Islam are the primary religions.

Christmas is a national holiday due to British influences and because of mid-academic year vacations.

Christmas is popularly known as “Badaa Din” (Big Day) in Northern India and people celebrate it by planting trees.

Mostly Mango or banana tree is decorated. Big hanging star-shaped paper laterns are very popular. People who live in north-west India go from village to village singing Christmas carols during the whole week.

Christians head to midnight mass and Christmas eve is celebrated with a Western-Style meal. Lively beach parties in Goa are most happening during the Christmas season.


We’ve a separate post on how filipinos celebrate Christmas including a local filipina who explains all the ins and outs of this important holiday:

How Filipinos Celebrate Christmas


Christmas is more and more popular in large cities in China due to huge number of expats and greater western influence. Hotels that primarily catering to Western guests are decorated and shopping malls may have special sales.

Hong Kong and Macau are fully buzzing during the Christmas season. In rest of the cities of China, Christmas tend to be private affairs between families and friends. Colourful cellophane-wrapped “Christmas apples’ are a popular gift.

For most of China, Xmas is just another workday as everyone is looking for Chinese New Year Holiday in January or February.


Less than 1% of Japanese claim to be Christian; Buddhism and Islam are the primary religions.

Japanese parents usually give Christmas gifts to their children on Christmas eve and not during the day.

Christmas is celebrated in a big way in Tokyo, night is full of lights with big screens along main crossroads. During the Christmas season, the Tokyo city shines everywhere with Christmas lights and trees.

Christmas eve is normally seen as a romantic day when couples get to spend time together and exchange presents.

During the Christmas week, the Emperor’s birthday is celebrated on 23rd December which adds lot of excitement.

South Korea

Christmas is widely celebrated in South Korea as 30% of the population are Christians, rest are either Buddhist or don’t have a religion.

Christmas is an official public holiday, however South Koreans go back to work on Boxing Day, the 26th.

The Japanese enjoy the secular celebrations of Christmas, next only to New Year’s Day which is a sacred holiday.

Xmas is great time for lovers who exchange gifts and go on special dates.

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Active traveller with a love for Asian food and Japanese anime.

Asian Customs
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