7 Fascinating Facts About Chinese Christmas Tradition
Dec 21st 2021
The popularity of the Christmas tradition in China began to grow in the early 1990s, along with its economic development and consumer culture. The Chinese Christmas tradition is still relatively young. Still, this tradition has already developed its own Chinese characteristics throughout the years. So, what are the facts about Chinese Christmas tradition?
Christmas Celebration is Like Valentine’s Day in China
In China, Christmas is rather than a religious celebration, it's more like Valentine's Day. Even though, people would still see the streets full of Christmas decorations, fir trees, Santa Claus, and Christmas carols.
Despite the incredible decoration, Christmas in China is the day where people go out with their friends rather than family gatherings. Instead of going to church, the locals like shopping, ice skating, karaoke bars, and cinemas. Not only that, but young couples can also see it as a romantic day to give and express their love to one another.
Christmas Day is Not a Religious Celebration in China
In China, only 1.8% of the population is Christian. In short, Christmas is a mundane time to enjoy shopping and feasting. In a festive mood, shops and shopping centers attract buyers with many seasonal offers.
Eat Apple on Christmas Eve
It is more than just an apple –it's an apple of peace. One of the most common Chinese Christmas tradition among the locals is to give friends an apple wrapped in cellophane. Apples are often sold with messages such as “love,” “peace,” and “Merry Christmas.” This tradition was born because the Mandarin translation of “Christmas Eve” means “ping,” which means “peaceful night”. The Mandarin word for apple is pronounced “pingguo” and is similar to peace. Therefore, locals say that eating apples can lead to a safe and peaceful year.
China’s Image of Santa is Playing the Saxophone
We often see Santa Claus mascots giving gifts and candies to children. Still, in China we often see Santa Claus playing the saxophone and French horn. There is no known explanation for the roots of this Chinese Christmas tradition. Still, perhaps Santa Claus's saxophone playing beautiful music seems romantic from a Chinese point of view.
There is a “Christmas village” in China
Located in the countryside called Mohe, Beijicun is China's first Christmas theme park and a perfect example of the ingenuity of the arctic on Christmas Day. It's the northernmost village in China, and it's just a place to see the northern lights. Riding a sleigh through the vast snowy landscape to visit Santa's house and Santa's post office will take you to the world of fairy tales. This is China's unique point of view of Western festivals.
It’s All About Santa’s Sisters and Friends
Forget about Santa's reindeer and helper elves. In Chinese Christmas tradition, it's all about his sisters and friends. In the shopping mall, Santa Claus is accompanied by a woman in a funny Christmas costume. Santa in China also goes out in packs with other Santas.
Giving of Gifts
Big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong that participate in Christmas celebrations are centered around children. Chinese kids enthusiastically hang socks for Santa Claus (they call it “Danchera Oren” which means “Christmas Ageman”) and fill them for Christmas. Gift baskets with groceries and other items are a welcome host or hostess whenever people visit on vacation. Some people, like the Chinese New Year, give red envelopes with lucky money instead of gifts.
For gift-giving, people can find a beautiful pack of high-quality cookies perfect for showing love and appreciation, like Danisa Butter Cookies. Made with an authentic Danish recipe passed down through generations of master bakers, Danisa Butter Cookies is the perfect choice for gift-giving. The irresistibly buttery and delicious taste comes from high-quality butter and other fine ingredients baked to crisp and rich perfection.
It’s always fascinating to learn about the traditions surrounding significant holidays. So take some inspiration from the above Chinese Christmas tradition and bring something unique into the Christmas celebration at home!