Initially as a festival to commemorate Jesus Christ’s birth, Christmas is celebrated by Christian world as a national holiday now. With worldwide dissemination and development of Christianity over thousand years, Christmas is not only celebrated by Christians, but it’s very popular in some non-Christian countries, which exerts a great influence in traditional culture, and the Chinese also celebrate it in their own way.
Christmas is getting more and more popular among big cities of China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. However Christmas in China is celebrated differently from that in western countries, especially popular among college students, who not only send Christmas cards and gifts to each other, but they are inclined to get together for holding balls during Christmas Eve. In addition, a number of supermarkets and superstores are decorated with evergreen Christmas trees, shining lights and tiny stuffs, some of which even hired men to impersonate Santa Claus for children accompanying their parents on shopping expeditions.
Personally speaking, I think it incredible for Christmas to prevail in China predominated by Confucianism, on one side, Christmas is a religious festival celebrated by Christians for the birth of Jesus Christ in western countries at the beginning, which is a combination of religion and western traditional culture; on the other hand, as far as I know, most Chinese people hardly know the true meaning of Christmas, but the truth is that Christmas really prevails in China nowadays.
Unlike westerners who get together with families on Christmas day, we Chinese people consider Christmas as a good chance for friends to get together at bars, coffee shops and restaurants, because we have our own traditional festivals for families to get together, including the Spring Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival. Unlike westerns who consider Christmas as a religious festival in a large sense, we Chinese regard it as a good opportunity for commercials, so every Chinese store tries its best to create a warm atmosphere for promoting its commodities during Christmas day, which indeed attracts more visitors than usual for its discounts and price reductions. Unlike westerns who prepare Christmas cards and gifts for their family members and friends, we Chinese take it as a golden time for lovers to spend a romantic time together.
Author: Yang Qingwei