Countries That Don’t Celebrate Christmas

Most of the people in the world celebrate Christmas in some way but I never did and I am not the only one. This is probably because we grew up in a country where Christmas is not recognised as a public holiday.

In this post, I am going to talk about countries that don’t celebrate Christmas, but before jumping into that, let me tell you something about my relationship with Christmas.

I don’t celebrate Christmas, because I don’t know how to do and I don’t have any special feelings about it. When I was a kid, I just saw Christmas celebrations in movies or cartoons like Home Alone and Scrooge. And later, when I moved to the UK, for a couple of years I was living alone, and Christmas Day was one of the saddest days of the year for me. Everyone was with their family and I was alone far from my family and loved ones. Plus, all shops and public transports were shut, so you can imagine, how bored and lonely I felt on Christmas Days. 


But later I met Bruno, and I started to enjoy the day a bit more by spending time together, cooking and relaxing. We are both not the type of people who follow traditions. We love having fun and celebrating any day we can. 

Celebration of Christmas Day in the World 

The fact is Christmas is the main annual holiday in more than 160 countries and it is celebrated by more than 2 billion people around the world, this makes it even more magical.

Christmas traditions do vary from country to country and are celebrated on different days. Since no one knows the exact date Jesus Christ was born, December 25th was chosen as Christmas day for various reasons, which I am not going to discuss here. 

However, some Christians don’t celebrate Christmas on December 25th. Orthodox Christians in central and eastern Europe celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January instead.

Countries That Don’t Celebrate Christmas

Okay, let’s talk about the countries that don’t recognise Christmas as a public holiday. Basically, these are the countries where the most popular religion is not Christianity.

Afghanistan, Algeria, Bhutan, North Korea, Libya, Mauritania, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, and Yemen.

Some other countries including Iran do give Christmas day observance despite it not being a public holiday there.

These are Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

December 25th is a public holiday in Pakistan, but not because of Christmas. It is in memory of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. Same in Taiwan. The day is celebrated to mark the anniversary of the 1947 Constitution of the Republic of China.

Countries celebrate Christmas Day in January

And in Belarus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Russia, and Ukraine, Christmas Day is a public holiday on the 7th of January.

While Armenia observes Christmas Day on the 6th of January.


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