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A few interesting facts about celebrating Christmas in China

 

For those of us who live in predominantly Christian countries, Christmas celebrations are something that we’re used to from the earliest of ages. Christmas trees, presents, Santa, these are all things that we are very familiar with since they’re a part of our culture, but it’s interesting to see how Christmas is celebrated in other part of the world, and today we’ll take a quick look at Christmas in China.

Probably the first thing that you’ll want to know is whether or not the Chinese actually celebrate Christmas since only about one percent of the population is Christian. Well if you were to visit a major Chinese city no more than 20 years ago, then most probably the answer would’ve been no, but nowadays it seems like the Chinese are getting into the Christmas spirit with some of the major cities being decorated with trees, and other Christmas themed displays.

The large majority of Chinese though are most likely to have not heard of Christmas though, however they do take advantage of the time to decorate their houses and spend time with friends and family. Of course there’s some food to be had, but the special meal has more to do with the Chinese New Year’s banquet-style food than what we in the West consider a traditional Christmas dinner.

In Hong Kong for instance, which was very heavily influenced by the West, children get visited by a Santa-like figure called Dun Che Lao Ren, and the churches with services in both Chinese and English.

Christmas Day isn’t a public holiday in China, but in many urban areas, store owner have started to discover the commercial potential of celebrating Christmas so that is spurring on the dissemination of the celebration through the public consciousness.

It’s really interesting to see first hand how the Chinese culture absorbs and puts its own spin on Christmas, it’s something that will only continue as time goes by.

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