Top 5 worst places to wake up on Christmas Morning

As you wake up on Christmas morning, thank your lucky stars that you’re in a country celebrating festivities and not in a strict nation in the middle of the desert!

You can't just chuck on a Santa hat anywhere you know!
You can’t just chuck on a Santa hat anywhere you know!

For most people, Christmas is the happiest time of the year, and a great way to spend some quality time with family and loved ones. But while a lot of the world shuts down for Christmas on December 25 each year, there are some countries where the very mention of the “C-Word” will get you into all kinds of trouble. Let’s examine 5 of the worst places to be during the Christmas period (and for the sake of fairness I haven’t just listed 5 places from the Middle-East; I’ve tried to vary the regions):

chiang55
Just another day in Chiang Mai…

5. In Thailand, although there is a small Christian minority in the capital Bangkok, December 25 passes as just another day, with no real effort made whatsoever. Thailand is a Buddhist kingdom, and there is no national holiday on December 25. With so many tourists in the country, you’d think there may be something official going on for Christmas, but no, you will have to organise it yourself!

A typical sight in Doha
A typical sight in Doha

4. In Qatar even though it is known (along with Kuwait and Bahrain) as one of the more tolerant Islamic states, it is still very much frowned upon to celebrate Christmas in public. Some international hotels will have trees and the odd festivity on display, but it is not wise to preach your dedication to Christ on December 25 in this Muslim country.

Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia is the icon of Istanbul – and it looks the same on Christmas Day as it does any other day of the year!

3. In Turkey, Christmas Day usually passes as just any other day in this predominantly Muslim country. While small enclaves of Christian people do exist, most people spend the day sightseeing down the Bosphorus or visiting one of Istanbul’s many awesome mosques – and you won’t see any reference to Santa in those!

maldives1
Sailing away from “silly” Christians…

2. In the Maldives, the population is 99% Muslim, so you won’t find any mention of Christmas. However, it’s not an overly horrible way to spend the festive period on stretches of white sand beaches and swimming in crystal clear waters. Some luxury hotels may have the odd Christmas tree to keep you happy, but things are very much kept low-key – and if you’re truly longing for those Christmas lights, just throw on some scuba gear and dive down to witness the vibrant colours of the Maldives’ famous coral reefs!

riyadhwomen
Fancy a Santa hat, girls?

1. In Saudi Arabia, it is illegal to celebrate Christmas, and it has been known for the authorities to imprison people for daring to plot to celebrate the day, regardless of their religion. As one of the most difficult places to live in the world anyway for a westerner, expats are kept in their own living compounds and kept segregated from the Muslim community. Any attempt to celebrate the birth of Christ, even in your own compounds, is strictly frowned upon.

Tis the season to be jolly! Merry Christmas to everybody!

Advertisements

Tell me what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s