If western-style December hijinks aren’t enough, why not head for the Ethiopian highlands and join the country’s January Christmas celebrations – and take in a trekking holiday while you’re at it
• Read about more unusual Christmases in Las Vegas, Japan and Java
Before dawn, our guide Sefiwe was waiting for our little group to gather. In the darkness, we joined the flocks of white-robed pilgrims and made our way towards the rock-hewn church of Bet Maryam (House of Mary).
It was very early morning on 7 January: Christmas Day for the Ethiopian Orthodox church. We were in Lalibela, the town in the northern highlands that Ethiopian Christians consider their Jerusalem.