In the past, the Chinese government banned people from celebrating Christmas, but thanks to the explosion of economic development and globalization that Christmas has become an annual celebration in large scale and monumentally. Unlike many other countries in the world that celebrate Christmas in the Westerns way, the Chinese have learned then transformed the Xmast into a very Chinese way.
1. Christmas is celebrated like Valentine’s or St. Patrick’s Day on March 17
Unlike the Westerns, on these holidays Chinese people prefer to gather with friends, head to crowded centers and have dine out at restaurants instead of staying home with parents. Usually, they will go to the movie theaters, go to karaoke or go shopping; according to China Daily, Christmas Eve is the biggest shopping day of the year. Meanwhile, the couples have a more time sharing together and their favorite destinations are the skating rinks and amusement parks.
2. Catholics in China are still restricted to celebrating Western-style holidays
The majority of people living in China’s major cities celebrate Christmas in a unique, commercial and “Chinese” way. This is a big limit for the 68 million Catholics in China – 5% of the country’s population.
Accordingly, the conduct of religious rites is subject to strict instructions and permission by the Chinese government. Typically, singing Christmas songs are banned in some years, but allowed in other years. According to the official documents, the word “church” is banned from using but, in the community, the word is completely accepted. In the 1990s, the Chinese government began allowing people to celebrate a commercially Christmas holiday, the government took the power to allow or not allow this holiday to be “like Western” as well as minimize any religious influence during the holidays. That means the more widely celebrated Christmas in China, the less Christian is spread.
3. “Christmas War” in China
Many critics accuse the West of using Christmas as a tool of imperialism. Journalist Helen Gao, who is best known for her article “The Change of Christmas in China,” said that while Americans try to welcome Christmas with religious belief, many Chinese are trying to minimize the influence of Western culture on their country.
4. “Apple Christmas” wrapped in cellophane – a popular gift in China
The Chinese people love to give apples for Christmas simply because the word “apples” in Mandarin is pronounced the same as the word “Christmas Eve”. The apples are usually wrapped in Christmas cellophane with various lovely messages like “Merry Christmas”.
5. Friends and Santa’s “sisters”
The American is so familiar with young women and dressed up to imitate the devil followed Santa Claus but, in China, sometimes the term “Santa’s Dwarf” simply indicates the team Santa’s “friends” or “younger sisters” who always move with their backpack of presents
6. In China, Santa Claus often plays saxophone
The image of Santa Claus in China is often associated with a saxophone, sometimes a trumpet. This is one of the long-standing customs in China and no one has ever been able to explain its origins.
7. China is the largest Christmas decorations producer in the world
After the Chinese government’s crackdown on Christians, China’s state media reported that Christmas would not be organized without China’s support. The China’s Daily said: “Dear American friends, when the moment of Christmas comes, it’s time to wake up, drink a cup of coffee and open the presents Santa Claus brings.” The meaning of this article is that without Chinese exports, the West can not have sufficients decorations, presents, appliances for Christmas and the Westerns should spend the day with expressing gratitude to Chinese producers. In the last paragraph, “On Christmas morning, when you wake up and enjoy a cup of coffee, remember to recognize your gift with respect.”
8. The civil war of the 19th century occurred after the Christian leader in China declared himself a brother of Jesus
The self-proclaimed brother of Jesus, named Hong Xiuquan, born in 1814, was the first person to propagandize Christianity in China. This was the reason for the man to believe that he was the brother of Jesus. Mr. Hong launched a campaign called the Heavenly Kingdom, which spans the vast south of China. The civil war that took place between 1850 and 1864 under the name Xai Ping Xian Quo was considered one of the most severe wars in the 19th century in China, with the death toll of over 20 million.
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