Christmas is a holiday that brings together families and friends as well as a time to spread love and remind ourselves of the bonds that unify all people regardless of race, tribe, religion, country of origin, or worldview. However, some regions and nations do not observe Christmas.
Christmas or the festival celebration really formed a holiday around Christmas day to honor a specific occasion, such as the commemoration of democracy day, the birth of a founder, or other national or public holidays, without attaching any significance to Christmas.
Others, however, do not commemorate the day as a holiday or special occasion; in these nations, it is observed in the same manner as every other day of the week and has no special significance.
Additionally, in some nations where Christmas is not observed, it has evolved into a day similar to Valentine’s Day where friends and lovers express their love for one another.
1. Comoros Island
Because it is 98% Sunni Muslim, the island nation of Comoros in the Indian Ocean is highly opposed to Christianity. Sunni Islam was declared the nation’s official religion in 2018 after a referendum, which, according to World Watch Monitor, “was expected to have a tough impact on the country’s small Christian minority.”
Openly practicing Christianity is prohibited in Comoros, which has “been on the World Watch list for the persecution of Christians for the past 22 years,” according to WorldAtlas. One of the nations that doesn’t observe Christmas is this one.
2. North Korea
Another nation in East Asia that does not observe Christmas is North Korea. The Independent claims that Christmas in North Korea “is kind of a non-event.” The nation’s radical, authoritarian view of atheism as ostensibly described in communist theory led to the entire prohibition of everything Christmas.
The so-called hermit state is denied information of religious holidays at all costs by the North Korean authorities. Anyone who didn’t celebrate the festival ran the risk of being “arrested, tortured, or killed.” Even though it is forbidden to celebrate Christmas in North Korea, Kim Jong-Suk, Kim Jong-late Un’s grandmother, can be honored on her birthday.
Pilgrimages to Hoeryong, a town in the northeast, are made to honor the revolutionary idol’s birthday, which falls on Christmas Eve (her birthplace).
When he lived in North Korea, the Independent Co.Uk correspondent stated he was unaware of any Christians, adding, “I did not know any Christians or anyone who believed in God. The North Korean government controls all of the media and the Internet, and the people I encountered are unaware of Jesus.
The situation hasn’t always been this way, though. Pyongyang was somewhat of a Christian hotspot before the Korean War, which divided the peninsula into a communist North and a capitalist South, and many Christian preachers were in fact from the north of the country. Furthermore, “About 60 years ago, it was a very Christian nation; people referred to it as the “Jerusalem of the east,” says Kang.
One of the nations where Christmas is neither commemorated or celebrated on a national basis, nor is it regarded as a public holiday, is Great China. China views Christmas as “another working day,” with “all schools, offices, and shops remaining open.” Christmas used to be outright prohibited in China due to the country’s secular government.
In 2018, the government began “cracking down on Christmas,” and locals were instructed to concentrate on promoting traditional Chinese culture. In many countries throughout the world, Christmas Day is a Christian festival that celebrates the birth of Jesus. Christmas in China is more of a secular holiday of feasting and shopping since just 3-5% of the population identify as Christians. Malls and other commercial enterprises take advantage of seasonal deals to attract clients.
In Western countries, Christmas is a time for family get-togethers, while in China, it is more of a Valentine’s Day celebration. On this enjoyable day, young people go out with their partners and celebrate with tiny gifts. They also hang out to go shopping, to a movie, or to a karaoke bar with pals.
The Mongolians, who live in a mostly Buddhist nation in East Asia, are one of the nations who don’t celebrate Christmas.
In Mongolia, which is largely a Buddhist nation, few Christians live, and Christmas is not a public holiday. In addition to the Mongolian Lunar New Year, or Tsagaan Sar, which is observed over the course of three days at the start of the first lunar month, January 1 is a public holiday in Mongolia.
The most recent national census, which was performed in 2020, was reported in the US Department of State Report. It reveals that 40.6% of respondents aged 15 and over say they are not religious, while 59.4% identify as religious.
In addition, Buddhists make up 87.1 percent of individuals who identified their religious affiliation, while Muslims make up 5.4 percent. Similarly, 4.2 percent of people identify as Shamanists, 2.2 percent as Christians, and 1.1 percent as belonging to another religion.
Most Buddhists follow the Mahayana school of thought. Many people who practice shamanism do it in conjunction with other religions, particularly Buddhism. The vast majority of Christians are Protestants. Two more Christian institutions in the country are the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Church of Jesus Christ).
Israel doesn’t celebrate Christmas as frequently as other nations do. Due to the tiny number of Christians in Israel (1.9%), as well as the fact that it is not a national holiday, Christmas is not a holiday that is generally observed in Israel.
Israel is one of the countries that doesn’t celebrate Christmas despite the fact that a large number of pilgrims travel there each year to visit the holy city, despite the fact that the Christian story takes place in Israel and the personality of the festival, Jesus Christ, was predicted to be born there about 2000 years ago.
The small, oil-rich Islamic kingdom of Brunei has outlawed Christmas celebrations in public since 2015. The penalty for breaking the law is up to five years in prison, a fine of $20,000 USD, or both.
The nation’s Muslims, who make up nearly two-thirds of the population, are allowed to celebrate the holiday in their own communities, but non-Muslims are not allowed to share their plans with them. According to the country’s Ministry of Religious Affairs, the regulations are “intended to control the act of celebrating Christmas excessively and openly, which could harm the aqidah (creed) of the Muslim community.”
Although it is not against the law to celebrate Christmas in Tunisia, there are very few public events and the day is often spent working. It is one of several nations in the globe that observes the day or the season as a holiday even if it is not Christmas.
The majority-Muslim nation has a difficult history with Christianity and its holidays. Since there is little evidence that the Taliban has evolved after two decades, John Pontifex of The Times remarked that this was especially acute during the Taliban regime in the 1990s.
Tension between Christians and followers of other minority faiths in Afghanistan is expected to persist now that the extremist organization is in leadership of the country once more. Pontifex described the takeover as “a catastrophe” for those Catholic institutions. In this nation, Christmas is hardly ever celebrated, and those who do run the risk of facing persecution.
Christmas is not now observed in this nation, which has a sizable Muslim population. However, there is cause for joy because December 24 is National Independence Day. It is one of the nations that does not observe Christmas or make reference to it by declaring a national holiday or ordering its inhabitants to do so.
It is an Islamic state where Christianity does not flourish and where the percentage of Christians is very low. The nation’s incredibly small Christian community, however, “remains full of insecurity” about celebrating Christmas, and there may be a “threat to the lives of the people celebrating the events,” according to the news website Parhlo.
Rather than celebrating the birth of Jesus, Pakistan celebrates Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s birthday on December 25 as a public holiday. Jinnah is thought to have founded the nation.