Christmas in North Korea: How people in the hermit kingdom secretly celebrate the festive period

A quick Google search of “Christmas in North Korea” brings up very little actual concrete information.

From US tabloids branding Kim Jong-un the “Grinch who stole Christmas” to a veritable plethora of Christmas jumpers which feature predictable puns that incorporate Christmas and nuclear weapons, it is hard to ascertain what the festive season in the world’s most secretive and isolated regime is actually like.

The short answer is that it is something of a non-event. Santa Claus may exist in the imaginations of millions of children in the West — but for those in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea he’s not even a mythological figure.​ The North Korean government works hard to ensure information about religious holidays does not enter the so-called hermit kingdom, and its citizens subsequently remain unaware people are yanking crackers, gorging on mince pies and belting out Christmas hymns across the West.