When it comes to the Christmas traditions of Asia, these are a collection of religious practices by various religions occurring during the holiday period. Just a small fragment of the population of most countries in Asia are Christians, and their Christmas celebrations only take the form of church services and are sometimes overrun by secular New Year celebrations. It is only in schools run by Christian missionaries, except in Christian Asian countries, that children and their parents actively get involved in Christmas celebrations.
In India, Christmas is a state holiday due to British influences and because of mid-academic year vacations. However, the active Western media is slowly introducing secular Christmas celebrations with commercial activities.
South Korea has a public set of the Christmas traditions of Asia due to being recognized as a public holiday. Therefore, some non-Christian Koreans sometimes engage in gift-giving, Christmas cards and trees because children enjoy Santa Haraboji or Grandfather Santa - their version of Santa Claus. The Christians carol after Christmas Eve services among their church members. The commercial influence is powerful in Japan and the Japanese enjoy the secular celebrations of Christmas, second only to New Year’s Day that is a sacred holiday. So, Christmas is more like a specific time for lovers who exchange presents and go on special dates. But, there are also sincere Christians who actually celebrate Christmas due to their religious belief.
In Muslim countries, no Christmas traditions of Asia are celebrated except in some countries that allow Christians to celebrate and even recognize Christmas as a public holiday, like in Jordan for instance.
In Malaysia, even though Christmas is a public holiday, there is an unofficial ban on Christian religious motif, therefore the celebration is simply secular.
As for China and Taiwan, Christmas is a private celebration. However, in Hong Kong and Macao, December 25th is a public holiday by western influence expanded recently by commercial advancement into the culture. December 25th is an official holiday just as the Constitution Day.
The Philippines though, celebrate the longest Christmas traditions of Asia due to its Spanish influence. The advent of Christmas in this country is ushered by dawn masses. The Christmas feast is celebrated after the midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Other winter holidays are also followed like Innocent’s day and Epiphany.
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