From magical parades to decorative gardens, from gorgeous Christmas light displays to Christmas songs on the radio – countries around the world are witnessing beautiful festivities, this time of the year. Billions of people come together to celebrate the spirit of giving, love and mankind. Families reunite and enjoy the Christmas cheer!!
However, not all are aware that there are a few nations, where Christmas is not even recognized. Christianity might be the largest religion in this world, but it covers only one-third of the global population. Not all countries with diverse religions choose to celebrate the Christmas holiday. Here, we bring you the names of countries where Christmas is “just another day.”
Countries where December 25 or January 7 (as celebrated by some Orthodox Christians) is not a public holiday, and is not observed:
This landlocked country in South-Central Asia has a majority of Muslim population, and Muslims don’t observe Christmas as a holiday. People who aren’t Muslims, also avoid holding the festivities to prevent violent attacks, as religion-based danger still exists in the country.
Located in Northern Africa, the country only has a few churches, but the Christian population is rising. Christmas markets have begun to open in Algeria, however, it is not yet a public holiday.
Miniature Santa Claus can be found in shops, and some of the streets are adorned with lights, but holiday is not declared in the country on December 25.
- North Korea
Run by a dictator, North Korea doesn’t celebrate Christmas as well. Kim Jong Un has imposed ban on singing, drinking and partying around the festival.
The Islamic country does not declare a holiday on Christmas. Any selling of Christmas themed ornaments, decorations and gifts has been against the law, even though there is a minor Christian population.
The largely-desert country, Mauritania has a large Islamic population, which becomes the reason as to why there are no festivities witnessed in the country around Christmas.
- Saudi Arabia
If foreign expats use a subtle approach, maybe they could celebrate Christmas in Islamic country of Saudi Arabia. But otherwise, there are no Church services and people who wish to celebrate need to do it in private.
The government of Somalia has put a ban on Christmas traditions. It is a shock how a country which hosts peacekeepers from major-Christian countries like Burundi, Uganda and Kenya does not allow people to celebrate the festival, only because it is itself Muslim-dominated.
Trees, gifts, fireworks and even charity is outlawed in schools and universities in the country of Tajikistan.
Beyond an economic opportunity for people, Christmas is not celebrated in the country of Tunisia.
The legislation of Turkmenistan provides freedom of religion and religious organizations, but the Christmas population is too small to find Christmas cheer in the country.
The culture of Uzbekistan is diverse. There is a mix of different ethnic groups with 71% of its population being Uzbek, and other minority groups being Russians, Tajiks, Kazaks, Tatars, Karakalpaks, Armenians and Koryo-saram. Only 5% of the population follows Christianity, but the government is involved in massive ill-treatment of Christians, so much that Uzbekistan was designated to a list of countries of particular concern of the U.S. State Department.
The Arab country located in Southwest Asia, is already in a crisis. 99% of Yemenis are Muslims. And yes, it is too hard to observe Christmas while living in a country which has been suffering so long.
On the other hand, there are few countries where Christmas is observed, more for commercial purpose, but the holiday is not declared. Schools, offices, and shops all remain open on December 25, but the Christmas spirit may be missing. These countries are: Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Thailand, Turkey, The United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.
Taiwan observes December 25 as a constitutional day, and it is not an official holiday in the country. However, numerous sectors do provide an off, for the date is the anniversary of the 1947 ROC Constitution.
Pakistan observes December 25 as a public holiday in Pakistan, but not in regard with Christmas. It is the very same date, that Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan was born.
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