The Oban Blog

Experts Overseas: Christmas around the world

In the UK, Christmas TV adverts are hotly anticipated with much speculation over who has captured the Christmas spirit and viewers’ hearts and minds. This year it was a battle between Sainsbury’s and John Lewis to see who would be crowned the King of Christmas advertising. But, did you know that Nando’s holds that crown in South Africa? Or that young Japanese look to a different restaurant giant for their Christmas ad? We asked our Experts Overseas to share their favourite Christmas ads and also some images of Christmas traditions in their home countries. So why not grab a mince pie and take a look at how Christmas is celebrated around the world:

  • Conrad – South Africa

“Nando’s (locally founded food franchise) has developed a reputation for producing witty edgy ads that capture the pulse of the moment in South Africa. The company has changed ad agencies a number of times over the years but they continue to produce great ads.

“The chicken and turkey ad (released in Nov 2015) has been picked by ad watchers as among the best.”

  • Masaharu – Japan

“Christmas in Japan is only a commercial event that is celebrated by mainly by young couples.

“Usually, people over 15 or 18 prefer to spend Christmas with their girlfriend or boyfriend so it is almost similar to Valentine’s day. However, it’s also a family event if you have small kids. We don’t have a special feast for Christmas but KFC has become the equivalent of an annual Christmas dinner. New year and New Year’s Eve are much more traditional in Japan.”

  • Anett – Germany

“These images are from my annual Christmas market hiking tour to Seiffen, a village in the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge). Many different traditions stem from the mining in the Ore Mountains. As the miners worked through day and night they rarely seen day light. Therefore light is very important during Christmas time.

“In the mountains all windows are lit up with candles. The miners returned home each evening after sunset and as it was dark there was little they could do as a pastime. They took wood and began to carve wooden crafts for Christmas: smokers, nut crackers, pyramids and their decorations etc. As most of the miners were poor they gathered in someone’s house around the oven, this was to save fire wood. They would sit and carve together and because of this The Ore Mountains are renowned for its fine wooden craft for Christmas.

“Still here in my region we have miner’s parades during the Christmas Markets where they wear their different uniforms for each mine in the mountains, play music together and sing miners songs everyone knows. The first parade with 1000 miners & their descendants starts in my town each year on the first advent. This continues every weekend till with a big parade in each town on the fourth Advent. In the picture below you see examples of the fine wooden craft and a miners parade.”


Edeka – a German supermarket – released it’s 2015 Christmas ad and it has been eclipsing the competition. The theme is “coming home” and shows a Grandfather’s attempts to bring his family together for Christmas.

According to Campaign, it was shared 1.1 million times in the last seven days.


  • Aleksey – Ukraine

  • Jing –  China

Jing has shared this image from her local shopping centre in China.

Christmas1206 CN

  • Ractha – Thailand

“This is an image from my local department store called Central Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.”


thailand xmas


  • Reem – Egypt

“Here in Egypt ornaments and decorations are not visible until late December, mainly because Christmas is celebrated on the 7th January while some celebrate it on the 24th December.”

DSC_1980(last year)