While for some of us Christmas is all about Turkey, mince pies and handing round presents to our loved ones underneath the tree; for many people it is a chance to grab a cheap holiday abroad and enjoy sun rather than snow during “the most wonderful time of the year”.
Cheap all inclusive holidays over the holiday period are a good way to have a break and experience Christmas in a slightly different way – who says you can’t be sat at a pool bar dipping your toes in the water on December 25th!
Fortunately for festive travellers our concept of “Christmas” has caught on across every continent over the years so if you’re on holiday over the festive months, you’re sure to find a celebration worthy of one you would enjoy at home.
Wherever Christians landed they usually left traditions that we in the UK know and love; Christmas being one of them. So it goes without saying that Latin American countries and those in Central America, including Mexico, are hotspots for this celebration. Mexico in particular has many of the hallmarks of a Spanish extravaganza. If you’re off on a winter break to this sunny destination expect to see homes decked out with paper lanterns and evergreen plants. Children go from house to house to mark the journey Mary and Joseph made in Bethlehem, while families cook a special cake with a small figurine of Jesus in it. Whoever finds the figurine has to cook a special meal marking the end of the festive period in February.
India is generally thought of as mainly Hindu when it comes to religion, but the British and Portuguese left a strong impression on the country especially along the west coast. So a Christmas Goa holiday will still give you lots of opportunities to feel festive. In fact, December 25th is celebrated by people from different religious backgrounds with Goans really taking the day to their hearts. Christmas trees are put up and decorated, town squares are filled with bunting, as festive feasts are laid on and even the jolly man in the red suit makes an appearance.
You might think that the desert and Christmas don’t really go together when it comes to typical UK celebrations, but some African countries bring a lot of festive spirit to this time of year. Tunisia holidays can be lively events because the country has lots of festivals throughout the year thanks to its long cultural history and Christmas is one of them. In some cities you can even buy proper Christmas trees, and more and more shops are selling decorations, lights and fake snow. So if you get too warm while walking along the beach, snap up some decs and snow to give the illusion of a UK winter. You’ll also likely find Christmas church services, choirs and festive food on offer.