How Many Countries Do Not Celebrate Christmas?

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While most of the world’s population is decking their halls, some countries do not celebrate Christmas. The nativity festival held annually to celebrate the birth of Jesus is not recognized by these countries and is not considered a public holiday.  Most Christians celebrate this holiday and countries which are Christian-oriented recognize December 25 as a national holiday.

Some countries are based on other religious beliefs that do not share the nativity and therefore do not offer December 25 as a national holiday.  People are expected to work as usual and no special festivals are celebrated by the governments.  However, since it i also close to the end of the year some countries offer year bonuses which have no relation to Christmas.

List of Countries That Do Not Celebrate Christmas

Countries that do not celebrate Christmas

This does not mean that there are laws that prohibit the celebration of Christmas. Christians living in these countries may share private nativity festivals and even get the day off.  yet, the countries on this list do not recognize December 25 as a public holiday.

Countries that do not celebrate Christmas include (in alphabetical order):

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

There are still some countries that are not on the list above since they have a special relationship with Christmas. for example, the government of Brunei banned all forms of public Christmas celebrations in 2015. Muslims who infringe on the law may be fined up to $15,000 or receive up to 5 years imprisonment.

Although non-Muslims residing in the country may hold private celebrations, no Muslims may be invited to such festivals. At the time the then Minister of Religious Affairs said:

“These enforcement measures are…intended to control the act of celebrating Christmas excessively and openly, which could damage the aqidah (beliefs) of the Muslim community,”

Another country worth mentioning is Pakistan. The country celebrates December 25th as a national holiday but not in honor of the nativity. Christmas is not recognized here, instead, Pakistanis celebrate the birthday of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.

The world’s festive seasons are celebrated differently in each part of the globe and this makes us all unique.



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