Here in the UK, we associate December, Christmas and the Festive Period with cold weather and a warm fire. White Christmases are something we all crave after and it wouldn’t quite be the same were we to get sunshine and bright spells on the 25th. But around the world, many nations celebrate Christmas under rays of sun and on beaches every year with a cool drink in their hand. Far from the fireplaces and mulled wine of Britain, we take a look at some of the tropical celebrations of Christmas around the globe.
Warm nations with a strong Christian tradition often attract thousands of tourists over the festive period. The Caribbean has always had strong ties with Britain and the United States, with Christianity still remaining the dominant religion and therefore Christmas being duly celebrated. Barbados and Jamaica welcome December in with soaring temperatures and barbecues on the beach, with many tour operators offering sailing excursions to celebrate Saint Nicholas’ generosity.
Asia’s travel hotspot of Thailand pulls in a huge number of Britons year round. Particularly popular with backpackers and students on their gap year, the warm country is now becoming a popular destination for wintertime excursions with fantastic value and almost permanent warm and dry weather over December. Whilst Christianity doesn’t have a strong foothold throughout the mostly Buddhist nation, Christmas is seen as a charming festivity which is celebrated enthusiastically (just another reason for a street party!) Bangkok and Phuket arrange vibrant and colourful parades to bring in the Christmas period, not to be missed if you’re in South-East Asia.
India, whilst mostly Hindu, is another country which cannot let a chance to party pass by so easily. A large English speaking population with a healthy number of expats make India an excellent cultural retreat for Christmas. You’ve never experienced colour and music like an Indian marketplace and you won’t likely buy anybody a present they’ve already had or received from somebody else! Britain is venerated amongst the Indian population, the general public are some of the friendliest, generous and most accommodating in the world; making a festive celebration in Mumbai or Bangalore an experience you won’t forget any time soon!
Most Britons won’t become converts to the cold beers and warm sands on December 25th any time soon, but it’s well worth the effort to try and experience it once in your life. For those of you who can’t give up the warm cocoa, mince pies and mulled wine; stay tuned on the UK Christmas World blog for more traditional Christmas news coming up!