Chinese New Year is fast approaching (February 8th) and whilst we watch in awe at the spectacular celebrations in China, we ask, how to they celebrate Christmas?
The majority of the population of China is not Christian but despite this, many Chinese people are interested and enjoy the western culture. In many of the larger cities in China, Christmas decorations can be found in the streets and festive window displays are on show in many shops and department stores.
Despite the fact that very few people in China are christian (currently roughly 5%), many people celebrate Christmas as a non religious event where there are family gatherings, food, gifts and celebrations.
Since Hong Kong was a British Colony (it is now chinese) many British traditions still remain and many people in Hong Kong celebrate Christmas. Because of this the streets of Hong Kong are filled with festive decorations and people can enjoy a two day public holiday over Christmas itself.
In Hong Kong, Disneyland comes to town with a Christmas themed amusement park between Thanksgiving and Christmas. You can also expect to see “Hong Kong Ballet”, “Winterfest” and “The Hong Kong Philharmonic”. Even churches throughout Hong Kong celebrate with Christmas carols and special performances.
On Christmas day itself, there are religious services throughout Hong Kong however these are unsurprisingly not typically found throughout the rest of China.
Whilst Chinese Christians celebrate the day in the same way as many of the western world does, for the most part, it is just another day in China.
Both Macau and Taiwan also celebrate Christmas due to their British and Portugese influences. They also enjoy a two day public holiday on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Surprisingly, despite the fact that the majority of China does not celebrate Christmas, sending Christmas cards is very popular. Many people send Christmas cards to family and friends to strengthen bonds and relations. Exchanging gifts is also popular. To many, Christmas is celebrated the way we celebrate Valentines Day – with gifts, cards and parties.
It seems the Chinese celebrate Christmas a bit differently to us here in the UK!
To all of our readers, Happy Chinese New Year!
We would love to hear all about your Christmas traditions. Leave them in the comments below!