Christmas spirit; alive, well and uniquely Asian
Wego discovers how to say Happy Christmas throughout Asia.
SINGAPORE - As the most festive season of the year rolls around, Wego, the leading travel search site in the Asia Pacific, reveals that Christmas takes on many forms in Asia.
“Christmas is the most widely celebrated festival in the world, and even in countries where other traditions are more prominent, the festive season can still be found in one form or another,” said Joachim Holte, Chief Marketing Officer of Wego.
“Many travellers choose the Christmas season to holiday throughout Asia, and may be rather surprised to find each country’s unique take on the tradition. There’s no better way to fully appreciate and become a part of celebrations than by greeting locals in their traditional language,” Holte added.
“Say Chung Mung Giang Sinh should you be visiting Vietnam, you’ll be showered in confetti in the streets, and find lots of pairs of shoes laid out in front of homes, which children hope to find filled with treats in the morning. And if you’re in Japan, KFC is such a popular annual tradition that you’ll need to make a reservation ahead of time, as locals consume around a quarter of a million barrels of chicken at this time,” he said.
“Kurisumasu Omedeto is the local Christmas greeting in Japanese.”
“While there’s no official recognition of Christmas in China, apart from Hong Kong and Macau, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s Valentine’s Day instead,” Holte continued. “It’s considered a particularly romantic time of year and gifts of wrapped up apples are often shared, and Santa Claus can still be found in many shopping malls which are a hive of activity at this time.”
Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan is the Mandarin Christmas greeting.
“Each Asian country reflects the season in their own unique way, adopted over time resulting in a tradition that can take on an entirely new delivery,” said Holte. “In Cambodia the local greeting is Rikreay? Thngai? Bony? Nauel and they’ve developed their own colourful Cambodian yike dance and adapted traditional Christmas Carols into classic local songs.”
“Spending Christmas travelling in Asia is a wonderful way to discover local culture and traditions, even if you’re missing the turkey and trimmings at home,
” Holte concluded. “Just replace the turkey with non banh chok (in Cambodia), see the twinkling ‘parol’ lanterns in the Philippines, or get into the spirit with an entire week of Christmas Carol singing in parts of India. Christmas ki Badhaai!