World’s most Christmassy destinations
Looking for the ultimate places to get festive? We scaned the globe to bring you the top 15 most Christmassy and festively themed places on the planet [in alphabetical order].
Bethlehem (West Bank, Israel) > Yes, this is a real place. Bethlehem is commonly accepted as the birth city of Jesus, probably the most famous person in history and the whole reason that we celebrate Christmas Day at all.
Brussels (Belgium) > Forever linked with a famous Christmas side dish that causes mixed feelings at the table, the small green vegetable really is named after the Belgian capital where it’s said to have been a popular crop for more than 400 years.
Carol City (Florida, USA) > Guaranteed for a balmy Christmas, temperatures here rarely dip below 20C. And it seems that many of the city’s inhabitants do indeed sing for their supper. According to Wikipedia, Carol City’s most notable residents are all rappers, though Trapp Mendoza and JT Money are rarely heard waxing lyrical about baby Jesus and Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.
Christmas Island (Australia) > There are actually several islands in various oceans named Christmas, but probably the best known is the Australian territory located in the Indian Ocean. Over half the island is national park, but according to the CIA World Fact Book, it will soon become a site for launching space missions. Is Santa going intergalactic?
Dasher, (Georgia, USA) > Not to be outdone by his better known team mate, during his lucrative career as an elite member of Santa’s sledge team, Dasher bought his own town too. Situated in Lowndes County, Dasher boasts a population of just 834. However, that’s 834 more people than live on Rudolf’s Island, as Dasher often reminds him.
Holly (Michigan, USA) > This quiet village apparently featured in the 1993 Clint Eastwood movie “In the Line of Fire”. It was also home to Dr Church Jr, the man who developed the Mount Rose snow sampler, a tool used to measure snow depth and water content.
Krakow (Poland) > This city goes off with a bang in December with a cracking Christmas market held in the main square. Quaff mulled wine and browse stalls selling Baltic amber jewellery and woollen slippers from the Polish highlands.
Mińce (Poland) > It is not thought that mince pies originated in this small village in North Eastern Poland or that it has anything to do whatsoever with the famous festive pastry. Indeed, mince pies were invented in Britain and originally contained shredded meat (hence the name) in addition to the mix of raisins, sultanas and spices.
Rudolf Island (Russia) > The northern most island of the Franz Josef Archipelago, this small, barren island that sits within the arctic circle is almost completely glaciated. Despite the name, Rudolf and his reindeer buddies don’t hang out here these days, it’s just too chilly. You’ll need to join a polar expedition to get to this one.
Santa Cruz (California, USA) > Meaning “Holy Cross”, Santa Cruz is a quintessential American beach town. The place where Hawaiian royalty first introduced surfing to the mainland, the city is still known for its alternative lifestyle and liberal political persuasion.
Sledge (Mississippi, USA) > It’s the blues rather than the wooden contraptions that hurtle down snow covered slopes that Sledge is really famous for. Despite having a population of less than 600 people, it produced the famous country singer Charley Pride, and is considered by some to be the birthplace of the blues.
Star (Scotland, UK) > This small, quiet village, with a population of 500, is located one hour from Edinburgh. It shares its name with one of that most festive of symbols, the star, which led the three wise men to Bethlehem, and is now a popular Christmas decoration.
Stocking (Austria) > A municipality in Styria, southern Austria, stockings are also vital receptacles in which Mr Claus deposits his gifts. Traditionally, children hang their stocking by the fireplace allowing Santa easy access. A mince pie and a glass of brandy are normally left in return.
Tinsel Town (Los Angeles, USA) > Hollywood’s nom de plume, the Tinsel part refers to the glittering, flashy, but superficial nature of Hollywood and the film industry. Tinsel, the popular Christmas decoration, was invented in Germany in 1610 and was originally made of shredded silver.
Turkey > Though rather known for its warm seas, many might be surprised to hear the country also receives heavy snowfalls, boasts mountains over 4000m high and has ski resorts where you can guarantee yourself a white Christmas. The large bird traditionally eaten at Christmas actually originates from South America.