22nd September 2016

When the clock goes back you know it’s time for the festive season. Goodbye to the heat waves, sunburns and ice lollies! Hello to the cold dark nights, layers of clothing and hot water bottles. This can only mean one thing, Christmas is near!

Christmas has become a global celebration, regardless of religion or location, so I thought I’d share the top 3 go to destinations that’s trending this Christmas.

At number 3 we have…

 

3) Tokyo, Japan

Traditionally, celebrating the New Year is more important in Japan than Christmas, but that doesn’t stop them from embracing it. Tokyo at Christmas is brighter at night than in the day thanks to it’s spectacular over the top decorations and lights. Not even your shadow can hide!
The entire city shines with thousands of illumination lights which changes Tokyo’s landscape completely. From midtown shopping complex in Roppongi, Caretta Shiodome near JR Shimbashi station, to even just the streets leading to Tokyo station, no matter where you turn there are illumination spectacles and events to be seen. Not to mention in Odaiba you will find one of Tokyo’s biggest decorated Christmas tree. Also, why not feast Japanese style while taking in the sights? The traditional Christmas feast involves fried chicken, followed by sponge cake topped with cream and strawberries.



Now let’s move on to number 2…

 

2) The Vatican, Italy

It’s the Vatican that pulls the most pilgrims thanks to their midnight mass in St Peter’s Basilica on Christmas Eve, or at noon on Christmas day. It is definitely an affair to remember!
Also, why not check out nativity scenes on St Peter’s Square, Piazza Navona, and in the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli on the Capitoline Hill while munching through a bag of roasted Chestnuts that’s sold on every corner.
The eternal city is magical at any time of year but December has an extra frisson and will leave you feeling rest assured that the spiritual feeling of Catholicism knows how to do Christmas.

 

Okay, so now it’s time to reveal number 1. I’ll give you a little clue, think of the movie ‘Home Alone’…yes, you’ve got it! Trending at number 1 is the Big Apple, New York City.

New York City becomes a winter wonderland during the holidays: snow blankets the street of Manhattan, exquisite Christmas window displays in department stores, ice skaters gliding across the Rockefeller Centre skating rink as the world’s biggest Christmas tree glows beneath the New York skyline. Finishing off the evening with the traditionally famous ballet performance of Tchaikovsky’s ‘the Nutcracker’.

New York is considered to be one of the biggest and best holiday destinations in the world, so it definitely deserves a mention on your bucket list, or how about making it the answer to one of the most common questions asked in the festive season, what do you want for Christmas?

All these destinations go to show that you do not need to head to the mountains to get that feeling of Christmas. Whether it’s Tokyo, the Vatican or New York, or if you are lucky enough to visit all 3, they all bring something special to the festive season which will undoubtedly warm up your heart and guarantee that your chilly December will be forever remembered.

By Tour Co-Ordinator Ayesha Williams

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