Holidays Around the World

Holidays Around the World

East Asia

12/8/2023 | Angela Whitlock, CSRA

Have you ever wondered how different areas of the world celebrate the holidays?

Well, the Asian community in Champaign County makes up 15% of the total population, making them our third largest demographic.

You may be interested to learn that some East Asian countries, such as China or Japan, have adopted Western traditions in celebrating the holidays, but otherwise do not consider Christmas an official holiday.

Many of the customs that developed throughout European-settled countries, such as exchanging gifts or hanging stockings, resemble the festivities that these Asian countries now partake in.


In Hong Kong, Christmas IS recognized as a public holiday, and you can find many buildings decorated in Christmas lights, as well as Christmas trees throughout public buildings, such as shopping malls. The holidays are celebrated much stronger in this city than most other Asian countries.

Christmas is also a public holiday in South Korea, with Western holiday traditions generally mixing with Korean cuisine and culture. It is also common to visit relatives during this time of year.

In Taiwan, holiday celebrations have only recently gained popularity, with individuals exchanging gifts and having parties. Now, you can find decorations in major cities and shopping malls. One of the most popular holiday events in Taiwan is called Christmasland in New Taipei City, which consists of major Christmas celebration activities, art installations, a parade, and a concert.

In Japan, you can find Christmas lights decorating cities and Christmas trees in malls or even in homes. People may exchange gifts or have parties during the holiday season. Like Western countries, there is emphasis on food. Japanese Christmas cake, which is a white sponge cake covered in strawberries and cream, is a popular dessert for the holidays. Also, eating KFC around Christmas has become a national custom since the 1970s, due to a successful advertising campaign. KFC is so popular during the holidays that the chain takes reservations for orders months in advance.


*information taken from a series of news articles, as well as,, and