While Thailand is a fun place to celebrate the holidays because of the warm weather, it is not an official public holiday. However, that doesn’t stop shopping centers and hotels to decorate! Christmas trees are placed next to palms, and kids learning English sing Christmas carols.

Over 90% of the Thai population is Buddhist, but they are tolerant to other religions. Thailand is also a huge tourist destination, especially during the winter. They know their visitors want to experience Christmas, even if they’re on the beach instead of in the snow. Staff at restaurants and bars will be wearing festive clothes, and shots will have fun Christmas trinkets. Elephant statues get wrapped up in red and white.

Even real elephants get in on the fun! Elephants get dressed up in Santa hats and brought to local schools to deliver presents. Zoos even put Santa hands on tigers! This might seem inappropriate to Western culture, but in the East, dressing up animals is more normal.

Thailand is a unique place to spend Christmas, but certainly a fun one. Let’s all have pad Thai for Christmas dinner, and leave some mango sticky rice out for Santa Claus.