From its Puritan roots to complaints of rampant commercialism, Christmas around the world is been filled with traditions, old and new. Some date back to 16th-century Germany or even ancient Greek times, while others have caught on only in modern times.
And, among them, Christmas trees are one of the most popular, now all over the world.
Their tradition is long and rich, and has resulted in some modern trees that run the gamut from breathtakingly beautiful, encapsulating everything that Christmas stands for, to something simply weird.
Thus, If you need a little help to get into the holiday spirit this year, get yourself a winter drink with some holiday treats and a tour of the world’s best or most unusual Christmas trees. These towering pines (or sand or bottle piles, in some cases) are decked to the nines and shine brightly for holiday season, from Florida, Brazil, Mexico all the way to Lithuania.
Christmas in Thailand is all about shameless commercialism, given it is a Buddhist country, and Christmas is pretty much non-existent in traditional rural part of the country.
But the frills and excitement of Christmas in Bangkok, make the cheer of the festive season among the best in the world.
Recent years have been less celebratory: in 2016 due to the passing of King Bhumibol, and the years before that with the restrictions on fun by Thailand’s military government.
The commercial districts will otherwise celebrate the festive season for three or four months and, interestingly, the flagship trees at Central World and Siam Paragon were once erected in early November after being taken down just eight months earlier in March, when every major mall of the city will be decorated in over-the-top Christmas trees and festive baubles.
The best of the Bangkok Christmas lights are found between the Chit Lom Skytrain station and the Siam Skytrain Station, and the most popular is Central World, Bangkok’s middle-class mega mall.
It is the eleventh largest shopping complex in the world.
At Central World the activity square which fronts the mall hosts Bangkok’s tallest Christmas Tree along with other over-sized ornaments, fountains and open-air beer gardens – all sponsored by big brands of course.
Actually, the Christmas tree is the largest in Southeast Asia, standing at over 40 meters tall.
In the evenings Central World is swarming with youngsters with cameras and iPads, while Beer Gardens each year sport their own brands, live performances and beer cheer girls (waitresses).
Images from web – Google Research