Despite lying at Asia, Christmas has becoming more popular in China. Because bigger cities celebrated Christmas in their own ways, as different as chalk and cheese about places or organizers, it is a big opportunity to gain commercial success as well as adopt an international culture.
All major attractive destinations celebrates this holiday so tourists have more choices. Besides, due to this low season in China, domestic transportation or the price of hotels turned out to the best during the year. Some large hotels or Western restaurants also serve dinner at Christmas.
Many expats, especially people who come from Christmas-celebrating countries, may feel homesick during this season, so they try to create the atmosphere similar to their home country as much as possible. They decorate their houses, hold parties, pray and give wishes to each other as tradition. Among these, a Christmas dinner with family or friends if their relatives lives far away seem to be the most important event.
Nowadays, selling and buying trappings in Christmas is getting more popularity in China. People can buy wrapping paper, ribbon, cards in malls or grocery stores. Even China have some imported stores where people can get Christmas ingredients. However, buying online seems to have a better prices. Therefore, it is easy to get Christmas trees, decorations and even services such as turkey delivery to your doorstep.
Apart from Lunar New Year, Full-moon festival and Middle- year festival, Christmas is becoming an important event in big cities of China. Christmas atmosphere suffuses everywhere. You will see colorful and joyful Christmas decorations on the streets, apartments, and buildings. Christmas music is played from the last days of November, and people are busy with shopping during this season. Everyone is eagerly preparing for this holiday.
For young Chinese, Christmas is a chance to hold parties together with friends. They enjoy the music, festive atmosphere, colorful lights in bar, restaurants, karaoke, café or simply in their friend’s house. Couples go for dates and exchange gifts, it is as romantic as the actual Valentine day.
Chinese people usually see Christmas as a special occasion to gather with family, friends, relatives and lover without geographical distance in winter.
Christmas plays a crucial role in a Christian’s life; it even outranks the Lunar New Year. That's the issue about religion, sometimes more than the West. On the other hand, most Chinese don’t know what Christmas is celebrated for.
The preparations are made carefully weeks before, including songs, choral, drama and dance performances etc. People seldom perform carol singing on the streets. However, it’s very popular in Christian’s houses. They usually employ karaoke machines to play these songs.
Christmas Varies Around China!
- In Mainland China
Christmas is not recognized as a public holiday because the influence of Christians is not huge. What’s more, there are only very few Christians in China (only 1 percent officially).
Large cities near East coast are the accommodations of many foreigners and expats, so Western influence is much greater. By contrast, Christians are much fewer in smaller cities and rural areas, also Chinese people rarely have the opportunities to approach foreigners. Especially the elder people, this is still the foreign mystery.
Meanwhile, in the west of China, people seldom celebrate Christmas apart from big cities like Chongging or Chengdu. Also, many Muslims and devout Buddhists come from the far west, like Tibet and Xinjiang, Christmas may received very little attention.
- In Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan
Because of the Portuguese and British influence, Christmas is a public holiday in both HongKong and Macau. Banks are allowed to close on these days. In Hong Kong, 26th December is also a public holiday as it is Boxing day, people would go shopping to utilize the sales season, as well as for staffs to present gifts to their seniors.
About Macau, along with Christmas days, December 26 is also a public holiday.
In Taiwan, people celebrate Christmas although lesser than Hong Kong and Macau, but it is still more than Mainland China.
Christmas in attractive Tourist Areas in China
- In Hong Kong
The CNN network channel ranks WinterFest of Hong Kong as 1 in the 10 places to enjoy a fantastic Christmas around the world. With 2 days public holiday, tourists can enjoy festive Christmas atmosphere here with a lot of displays, food, and shopping.
Beijing gains commercial success at Christmas. People are busy with shopping for season sales. Special dinners are served in some big hotels. Young generations celebrate Christmas like an amazing occasion with full of interest. They gather together and exchange gifts. However, due to work pressure, some labors even work during Christmas if it doesn’t fall on a weekend.
Known as the trade center of China and developed city, the businessman will gain this opportunity immediately to earn money as much as possible. The decorations are seen everywhere, from shops so as to attract customer’s attention to streets and houses. Christmas carol is also played in many places.
Sometimes young generations here may rank Christmas higher than the Lunar New Year. They usually go shopping, have cozy dinner and hold parties.
It’s a small city in China. There are very few Christians here, so Christmas is rarely celebrated. Annually, Guilin attracts a lot of tourists and foreigners to see karst landscape, however, winter may not the good time for Guilin’s tourism.
Because there is around 5% Christians in Taiwan, people can enjoy the festival atmosphere here, Jesus Christ’s birthday is the theme in decorations in shops, general commercialism. However, there is no day -off in Taiwan on Christmas, due to the fact that it coincides with Constitution Day - the anniversary of a singer in Taiwan in 1947.
Best Christmas Shopping Markets in Beijing
1. Lai Tai Flower Trade
Beijing Lai Tai Flower Trade Center is located on 9 West Maizidian St., Chaoyang District.
Beijing Lai Tai is the biggest market specialized in flowers in the north of China. They offer customers many kinds of retail services as well as flower auction. On top of that, there is a variety of pine trees with a range of sizes and many ornaments to serve as decorating tools in Christmas.
2. Tianyi Small Commodities Wholesale Market
Tianyi Small Goods Wholesale Market is located on 259 Huchengmenwai Avenue, Xicheng District
Established in 1992, it is the biggest trade place in Beijing where retailed goods are always available. It offers stationery, clothing, kitchenware, daily necessities, and so forth. Several weeks before Christmas arrives, the market attracts an influx of customers flocking here to buy ornaments, pine trees and Christmas items to decorate their houses.
3. Tianyi Market
Tianyi Market is located on 158 Di'anmen Outer St. Xicheng District. It is near Houhai
Its name bears a resemblance to above market’s but this market sells decorations depending on the seasons annually and turned into "Christmas Market" set up by expats who live in Beijing. The market offer customers many small ornaments as well as tiny gifts for both Christmas and souvenirs. Every single floor sell different commodities: electronics, makeup, nail polish, clothes, and plenty of stationary.
4. Christmas Markets
- China has many Christmas bazaars annually. For instance, one of them is located at the Hilton Beijing Hotel (Dec.3 in 2016 to Jan, 2 pm to 8 pm) which is at 1 Dongfang Road in Chaoyang District.
- Another is located at German Embassy (takes place on 26th Nov.2016, 11 am to 6 pm), which enjoys popularity with foreigners settling down in Beijing along with local people.
Once you have an intention of entering this market on Christmas season, do not forget to bring along your passport in case of security since this market is located on embassy ground, so you need to visit early to buy tickets before it is too late (RMB 100 /voucher, discount vouchers are inclusive and you can use them in this market).
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany: 17 Dongzhimen Outer St, Chaoyang Qu, Chaoyang District
- The Hutong Winter Fayre (takes place on 10th Dec. In 2016, from 11 am to 4 pm) also enjoys popularity with holiday makers and foreign people who settle down here. All of the people here will be exposed to an exotic Christmas ambiance while they go out to celebrate it.
It is not hard to find this place. You can figure it when you come across 1 Jiudaowan Middle Alley, Dongcheng District.
Perhaps you still hesitate to pick up the ideal place to enjoy Christmas excitement meaningfully and unforgettably among a variety of interesting destination here. If you are too familiar with sunny islands, amusement places or feel uncomfortable in the bustling atmosphere, why not try entering the above-mentioned markets along with listening to Christmas Choirs at Churches in Beijing? Don’t think anymore and book a flight to Beijing right off the bat to celebrate this Christmas season exotically.
How to say Christmas in China:
- 圣诞快乐！ Shèngdàn kuàilè! /shnng-dan kwhy-ler/ 'Holy-birth happy!'