One of our students Rita says " Actually, there is no "tradition" of Christmas in China, because in most Chinese's eyes, it is just a modern festival coming from the western world. So generally, we don't have any specific celebrations, foods or holidays for Christmas. But for the young generation in China, Christmas is a good chance to have fun, like shopping, dating with their lovers, or partying with their friends. In order to attract young consumers, many shopping malls, restaurants and entertainment venues in big cities tend to create a kind of Christmas atmosphere during that period, which is as similar as the West. But honestly, rather than a festival for family reunion or religion, Christmas is more like another Valentine's Day for young people in China, which is a totally different perception. In fact, the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) is the most important festival for Chinese, when they can have a long holiday, enjoy various traditional activities and stay with their family, like the Christmas for western people"
In China, Santa is known as 'Sheng dan lao ren' (Traditional: 聖誕老人, Simplified: 圣诞老人; means Old Christmas Man).
Only a few people have a Christmas Tree (or celebrate Christmas at all!). If people do have a tree it is normally a plastic one and might be decorated with paper chains, paper flowers, and paper lanterns (they might also call it a tree of light). The Christmas Trees that most people would see would be in shopping malls!
Christmas isn't that widely celebrated in the rural areas of China, but it's becoming more well known.
The strange thing is that most of the world's plastic Christmas Trees and Christmas decorations are made in China, but the people making them might not know what they are for!!!
A tradition that's becoming popular, on Christmas Eve, is giving apples. Many stores have apples wrapped up in colored paper for sale. People give apples on Christmas Eve because in Chinese Christmas Eve is called 'Ping An Ye' (which means quiet or silent night) and the word for apple in Chinese is 'Ping Guo' which sounds similar.
Some people go Carol singing, although not many people understand them or know about the Christmas Story. Jingle Bells is a popular Carol in China!
People who are Christians in China go to special services. Going to Midnight Mass services has become very popular.
Do you have any stories about your christmas in China? Please share..