Christmas in Asia
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

Your Guide To Celebrating Christmas In Southeast Asia

Despite religious and cultural differences, the Westernized version of Christmas has been adopted into local culture throughout several countries in Southeast Asia.

175
Your Guide To Celebrating Christmas In Southeast Asia

If you go to certain Southeastern countries like Singapore or Japan for the holidays, and if you go to Western countries like the United States and Canada for the holidays, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference due to the acculturation of Westernized Christmas traditions. The following is your guide to Christmas across Southeast Asia.

Singapore

For such a small island, the Christmas spirit is certainly very prominent and widespread. Christmas here is celebrated less as a religious holiday and more of a commercial and secular celebration occupied by eating and shopping with family and friends. Orchard Road, Singapore's famous shopping district, gets decked out with dazzling lights and serves as a transparent reminder to go shopping. The Christmas spirit is also spread across the island through pop up holiday menus at restaurants and fake snow!

Hong Kong

Christmas is a public holiday in Hong Kong. This island was a British colony until 1997, and the Western influence is definitely still felt throughout life, especially during Christmas. There are large Christmas trees everywhere and lit lights strewn along the streets. Every year, there is a 'Winterfest,' a huge winter party that involves the shops, theme parks, and other attractions of Hong Kong, which literally lights up the island.

The Philippines

Since more than 80 percent of Filipinos claim to be Roman Catholic, Christmas is celebrated throughout the country as a religious holiday. They start the countdown to Christmas as early as September, lasting into January, making it one of the longest celebrations of Christmas in the world. Christmas traditions in the Philippines are a mixture of western and native Filipino traditions, so it's normal to see Santa Claus, Christmas carols, and Christmas ornaments in this country. Meanwhile, their own Christmas traditions include hanging up their unique lighted star lantern made from bamboo strips called 'parol.'

Japan

Christmas celebrations in Japan include usual Christian traditions without its religious meanings since only one percent of its population are actually Christians. Their Christmas decorations include all the long-established elements: the Nativity scene, the Christmas trees, the mistletoe. Meanwhile, they also have their own traditional spin on Christmas; their Santa Claus is called Hoteiosho, a Buddhist monk who bears gifts for children and who is believed to be a jolly and happy soul.

South Korea

Christmas here is celebrated more here than in other Asian countries like China since Christians make up about 25 to 30 percent of the population. Christmas is an official public holiday, with churches decorated with lights, trees adorned with glittering luminescence, and department stores putting on dazzling light displays. Unlike Singapore, Christmas in South Korea is primarily a religious holiday and less an excuse for shopping; families still put up Christmas trees and people exchange presents, but they'll also attend mass or a church service on Christmas Day.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

94338
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments