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Christmas in Asia

Christmas in Asia
While Christmas is of course a Christian tradition and many Asian countries have only a tiny Christian popularity, it is still widely celebrated across the continent. Interestingly, Christmas traditions in Asian countries are often far removed from the cosy Turkey dinner that is the norm in the Western world. Here are a few countries with their very own quirky Christmas traditions.

Japan
Christmas itself is not an important holiday in the Japanese calendar, but Christmas dinner has become something of a legend. All across Japan, people cue for hours, or order weeks in advance to secure their Christmas dinner... A KFC Christmas Bucket. This tradition started after a group of foreigners decided to eat fried chicken instead of their usual turkey when visiting Japan. KFC capitalised on this with a massive marketing campaign, pushing KFC chicken as a must-have over the festive season. The idea took off with the local population and Christmas is now synonymous with finger lickin' fried chicken.

Korea
Korea has a relatively large Christian population (30%) meaning that the holiday is widely observed, even by those who aren't Christian. While Christmas is traditionally viewed as a time to spend with the entire family, Christmas in Korea is viewed as a romantic couple's holiday and the streets are full of young people strolling hand in hand admiring the Christmas lights that decorate churches and shops. Santa Claus may also make an appearance, but is often dressed in a blue outfit, as well as a more traditional red suit.

Singapore 
Singapore celebrates the festive season with a six-week Christmas festival called 'Christmas in the Tropics' where the emphasis is on shopping, with stunning light displays adorning the streets of the best shopping areas in Singapore. 

Vietnam
Christmas is one of the four major festivals in Vietnam, and many of the holiday traditions are quite similar to those observed in France, due to the influence of the French occupation on Vietnamese culture. Nativity scenes are common and many people congregate in cathedrals and churches to participate in a Christmas mass. In terms of food, the bûche de Noël (a log-shaped chocolate cake) is a popular French Christmas dessert which is also widely enjoyed in Vietnam.

Why not enjoy Christmas with an Asian twist this year by whipping up some Asian favourites to add to your holiday spread? Check out our range of Asian spice pastes and get cooking!

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