Demythifying Christmas in China
This is part of our series on Christmas traditions worldwide. Here Baoli Wang, China Country Manager, describes Christmas in China to Peru Country Manager Daniel Salazar.
In many countries, Christmas is the most important holiday of the year. For many people in western countries Christmas is a peaceful and joyful occasion for family gatherings. In a previous post we mentioned that Christmas in China is little different than in most western countries as many people don’t celebrate it in China. But what about those who do celebrate Christmas in China? How is Christmas in China?
D: Is Christmas a holiday in China?
B: Christmas is not a public holiday in mainland China because most Chinese people are not Christian. However, due to the influence from Western countries since the opening-up of China, it’s now celebrated with great interest by lots of Chinese people, but only by young generations and mostly in large cities.
D: What is it like being in China during Christmas holidays?
B: In large cities in China, Christmas items are sold in big grocery stores. Small stores post images of Santa, snowflakes, presents packages are posted on their windows or doors. Large hotels and department stores put up Christmas displays on the streets. Some families also put up a Christmas tree and do some little decorations. Waiters or waitresses in restaurants wear Santa hats. Christmas carols can be heard in lots of places. Stories of Santa delivering gifts through chimneys at night are told by parents or teachers to the kids. That’s all about the spirit of the holiday, nothing like the religious meaning of Christmas in the West.
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