Christmas in China is not a traditional festival, but Christmas has become more and more popular there, especially in big cities. The reason most Chinese people celebrate Christmas is to relax, go shopping, have a big meal, and go on dates with their partners. Busy lifestyles make people desire more holidays to relieve the stress. Christmas in China falls at the perfect time because no other important traditional Chinese festivals are celebrated during this period.
In this article, you can discover the most authentic facts and traditions relating to Christmas in China. We have also included some useful travel tips for you if you are going to visit China during Christmas.
FAQs and Travel Tips
- Will the Terracotta Army/the Forbidden City/the Great Wall attractions be open on Christmas Day in 2019?
Yes. Christmas Day is not a Chinese public holiday. China’s famous attractions will be open as usual. It if falls on a Monday, the Forbidden City will be closed on Christmas Eve.
- Are many tourist concerns affected by Christmas Day?
Some are. You can visit attractions, enjoy landscapes, and have meals as usual. However, booking hotels will be a little difficult in big cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Chinese people like to go out to entertain on Christmas Day and rooms will be very hard to book. Booking in advance is a good way to avoid this issue.
- What will the weather be like on Christmas Day in 2019?
- Beijing weather in December is dry and chilly with a low temperature of -6°C. A thick overcoat is needed to protect against the cold weather.
- Shanghai weather in December is moist and cold with a temperature of 3°C. You should wear more layers than you would in Beijing because Shanghai hotels don’t offer central heating like the hotels do in North
- Hong Kong weather in December is cool and comfortable with a temperature of 14°C. A thin coat is adequate in Hong Kong.
- Are many types of Christmas food offered on Christmas Day?
No. Chinese people don’t prepare Christmas food like people in other countries do. The restaurants, however, will be filled with local people if you don’t finish your dinner early.
Facts about Christmas in China
- Christmas in China has an important business value. Most Chinese people only know a few things about Christmas. This is because only 1% of Chinese people are Christians.
- December 25th is the day that Chinese people celebrate Christmas. Christmas Eve is also popular in China.
- The reason why Christmas has become popular in China is that people need more opportunities for entertainment to make life more interesting and relaxing as well as to escape from busy daily lifestyles and work.
- Young people and kids are the main groups to celebrate
- Christmas was popular in China in 1920. Businesses and governments were the key drivers for this at that time.
- Christmas is not an official holiday in mainland China whereas people living in Hong Kong and Macau enjoy a holiday from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day.
- Merry Christmas in Chinese is ‘圣诞快乐’ (Shèngdàn kuàilè).
- Chinese Christmas food is varied and abundant,ranging from hot pots to Western food. There are no taboos during Christmas.
- Chinese people prefer to go out with friends during Christmas while Westerners prefer to spend time with their family members, which is similar to the Spring Festival in China.
- Christmas is also a happy day for Chinese kids. There are many fun activities to do, a Santa Claus dressed in red hat and clothes, and beautiful Christmas trees on the streets. They hope to receive gifts given to them by Santa Claus and share them with their friends.
Chinese Christmas Traditions and Activities
As the most important traditional festival in Western countries, Christmas in China is more like a form of entertainment for young people. What do people do for Christmas in China?
Decorate the Christmas Tree
A couple of weeks before Christmas, shopping plazas, theme parks, and small stores begin to decorate their windows and doors to welcome Christmas. Christmas trees appear in front of shopping malls to attract more customers. Many firms will organize various activities for kids, young couples, and students.
Prepare Gifts for Their Partners
In big cities, such as Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, many young people will prepare gifts for their girlfriend or boyfriend.
Give Apples to Friends and Loved Ones
Apples wrapped in beautiful cellophane are a common and popular Christmas gift in China. That's because "apple" sounds like "Christmas Eve" in Mandarin Chinese.
Have a Big Dinner with Friends
Recently, a record published by Sohu Health showed that 24% of its users would like to have a big dinner on Christmas Day, 13% prefer to go shopping, 10% prefer to watch movies, and the rest people never celebrate Christmas. Having a big dinner is a popular way to celebrate all kinds of festivals in China.
Attend a Chinese Christmas Party
Unlike Westerners, Chinese people are more likely to go out and to attend Christmas parties.
Christians and Catholics
They will take part in religious activities, such as to go caroling.
In Macau and Hong Kong
In December, the streets in Hong Kong and Macau are decorated with Christmas trees, colored lights, and Christmas posters. Young people will go shopping in the city center or go to church to listen to Christmas carols sung by Christians.
Influenced by Western culture, young Taiwanese people have begun to celebrate Christmas in recent years and to go to Christmas dance parties.