Christmas in China: Learn about Chinese Culture & Christmas!

Untitled 329

Christmas in China: Learn about Chinese Culture & Christmas!
Christmas is not a traditional holiday in China, but many Chinese people like the idea of celebrating Christmas. For them, this is not a religious holiday but a day to hang out with friends. Through watching movies and reading articles on the Internet, Chinese people learn how the West celebrates Christmas and they took some of the Christmas elements and make Christmas as a part of Chinese culture.

While in the West most people celebrate Christmas at home with family, in China friends and family would not stay home but go to a big mall for a crowded Christmas. Why? Because Chinese people like to shop and therefore businesses decorate Christmas in a big mall to make their consumers happy. Chinese people only decorate their homes for Chinese New Year, even though decorations for Chinese New Year are everywhere throughout indoor and outdoor shopping malls as well.




Related Posts
Recommended Video Playlists


Common Chinese Christmas Vocabulary

English Meaning Pinyin Chinese Character
Christmas Shèng dàn Jié 圣诞节
Celebrate Qìng zhù 庆祝
Family Jiā rén 家人
Chinese culture Zhōng guó wén huà 中国文化
Christmas gift Shèng dàn lǐ wù 圣诞礼物
Christmas dinner Shèng dàn dà cān 圣诞大餐
Christmas wish Shèng dàn yuàn wàng 圣诞愿望
Christmas lights Shèng dàn dēng shì 圣诞灯饰
Christmas dinner buffet Shèng dàn zì zhù wǎn cān 圣诞自助晚餐
Christmas light show Shèng dàn dēng guāng xiù 圣诞灯光秀
Christmas tree Shèng dàn shù 圣诞树
Fireplace Bì lú 壁炉
Panda Xióng māo 熊猫

In the mall, Christmas is busy and noisy as you can imagine people of all ages would crowed into the mall for two purposes. First shopping for the best Christmas sales and second, taking pictures with friends and family in front of Santa Claus and Christmas decorations. So Christmas in a mall is like a Disneyland for everybody.


To me, I like to listen to Christmas music in the mall. Well…it’s noisy but as a Chinese person, I like the noisy environment. And to us this is not noise, we describe it as full of life 热闹 [Rènào].


While in the West most people celebrate Christmas at home with family, in China friends and family would not stay home but go to a big mall for a crowded Christmas. Why? Because Chinese people like to shop and therefore businesses decorate Christmas in a big mall to make their consumers happy. Chinese people only decorate their homes for Chinese New Year, even though decorations for Chinese New Year are everywhere throughout indoor and outdoor shopping malls as well.


Frequently Asked Questions:


1. Do Chinese people celebrate Christmas in general?

The answer is yes and no. For sure there would be more Chinese people celebrating Christmas if there was a public holiday in China. But it’s not, so people have to work on Christmas. Those who have time to celebrate for Christmas are students and young adults since they like to have fun and they know more about the Christmas traditions compared to the older generations. For this reason, Chinese people are more likely to celebrate with friends than family.


2. Do Chinese people write Christmas cards?

Yes and No. Nowadays, Chinese people also go digital and they would rather send E-Christmas cards on QQ than write Christmas cards by hand. What is QQ? QQ is a social chat room for Chinese people to share pictures and send instant messages. Chinese people have a culture of how to send good messages on holidays, so you can find many message templates with warm and kind Christmas blessings on the Internet. Business people love this culture as they can find a good message, alter it and send it to their customers.


3. Do Chinese people host Christmas dinner at home?

No. First, Chinese people don’t have ovens at home so there are no homemade pies or stuffing to be served. Interestingly, for the younger generations, their Christmas dinner is to be with friends and go to American big chain fast food restaurants such as McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut. Well…unlike some chains in America, these branded fast food restaurants are group friendly, new and clean. So they charge Chinese people quite a lot for group meals. As you can see from the commercial, it looks nice at Pizza Hut. And for young couples who have jobs and income, they will go to a nice hotel for a Christmas dinner buffet.


4. Do Chinese people have outdoor Christmas lights?

Not really. You may find some Christmas lights in a big city like Shanghai. If you can visit Hong Kong during Christmas, do it. Hong Kong has amazing Christmas lights every year and even mainland Chinese will come to Hong Kong for Christmas light shows.


5. Do Chinese people have Christmas tree at home?

Not really. But it’s becoming more popular to have a small Christmas tree at home. However, they don’t hang Christmas stocks on a fireplace since most people living in cities don’t have fireplace. Remember, Christmas trees are in big malls.


6. What do Chinese people buy for Christmas?

Everything. For parents, they buy new clothes for the whole family for Chinese New Year and home items such as blanket to get ready for the cold winter (there’s only about a month between Christmas and Chinese New Year). Some children may get Christmas gifts from their parents. What they buy are not necessarily Christmas related but they definitely enjoy the ongoing sales starting before Christmas lasting until Chinese New Year.