Christmas is one of the highlights of the year in Western countries, and is as much a social holiday as a religious one. While we all have our favourite Christmas traditions, if you are a keen traveller it can be really nice to spend at least one Christmas having a completely different experience to the traditional one at home. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to miss Christmas altogether, as there are plenty of places where it is still celebrated as a major or minor holiday, but you can have a great time seeing how different Christmas can be if, for instance, it isn’t cold, or there isn’t the same amount of commercialism as at home!
Here are some things to consider if you would like to experience next Christmas somewhere warmer!
Christmas in English Speaking Parts of The Southern Hemisphere
Naturally, when it is winter at home, it is summer on the other side of the world, and that means that in English speaking countries with fairly comparable cultures to our own, all the usual Christmas fun is there – but it’s sunny. Head to Australia, South Africa or New Zealand and you’ll find that Christmas is just as big a deal as at home, but it is mingled more with summer ideas about eating and socialising than winter ones – think barbecues on the beach rather than chestnuts on an open fire.
This can be great to experience because it’s like having the best parts of Christmas and the middle of summer combined, and of course can help you get a break from the winter blues. Some people do feel like it won’t really seem like Christmas if it’s summer, but these countries do go all out to celebrate and you’ll soon find the festive spirit is easy to get into – even if you’re in your swimwear working on your tan!
Christmas in India
If you are looking for something that is culturally different as well as different climate wise, then heading to India for Christmas can be an amazing time. India has so much religious diversity that Christian holidays are widely celebrated, though how similar the celebration of Christmas is to in the west really depends on where you go.
In Goa, there is a tradition of going to long Midnight Mass services that are celebratory in nature and go on well into the morning, and also plenty of chances to enjoy music and dance. In some Southern states, Christmas is celebrated by using candles in a decorative way much the same as Hindu Indians do for Divali. You will still find Western touches like Christmas trees and street markets in the run up to Christmas in India.
Christmas in Vietnam
If you want to try somewhere really different for your Christmas adventure, then consider Vietnam. Although Vietnam has a fairly low Christian population, a lot of people enjoy the Christmas festivities anyway, and here Christmas Eve is the more important day, where people gather to celebrate with lights, confetti, and traditions influenced by French culture. It is a time of revelry, and you’ll recognise a lot of things as coming from Europe, however it is also a completely unique Vietnamese celebration!
Wherever you choose, spending Christmas in exotic climes can make for one of the most memorable Christmas experiences of your lifetime.
Get in touch with our expert travel advisers and we will make your next Christmas unique