Christmas is not a public holiday in China because Christian culture has little influence in China, and most Chinese are not Christian (only 1% officially).
Still, it is a public holiday in Macau and Hong Kong. It is a huge commercial success and a festive tradition recently adopted along the coast and in prominent international cities. The holiday has gained steady popularity in recent years. Although there are regional differences and most families hardly celebrate Christmas at all, all Chinese celebrate the upcoming Spring Festival.
What the Chinese do at Christmas
Most Chinese who celebrate Christmas see Christmas as a happy gathering of friends, family, and couples with no religious orientation. At the same time, Christians celebrate the day religiously, sometimes more so than in the West. Few Chinese know that Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ or even it has religious significance.
What do people in China give as Christmas presents?
Very few Asians have Western customs. We are used to the Christmas season as a time of shopping and gifts. Sometimes we need to figure out what to give and it becomes complicated. The gift for men is quite simple compared to that of women. Men can be given any gift related to the king of sports, for example. A soccer ball or even the jersey of his idol. However, the best gift would be a high-voltage match so that he can enjoy it from the field. Going to your favorite team’s stadium to watch your team never hurts. In addition, in the middle of the match, you can access the best betting sites in China to bet on the team and, who knows, maybe have a second gift. All bookmakers are reputable and licensed and many are under UK license. You can bet on your team, whether the premier league or Serie A. There is always a great gift option for women, such as a theater ticket or a ring.
Others, however, exchange apples on Christmas Eve. Local markets turn out during the previous days to offer apples of all kinds and the establishments are filled with people.
As expected on such a special day for them, the apples are not sold as usual but are wrapped in colorful red wrappers or small boxes with Christmas messages. Everyone gets an apple as a gift and takes it to the typical family dinner that night as a Christmas present.
Ordinary Chinese Christmas
Commercial Christmas has become a major annual event in China’s biggest cities. You will see many similar decorations, Christmas wreaths, Merry Christmas banners, colored lights, and the same kind of jewelry. Most of these decorations are bought in the West but are made in China.
For young people, it is a good opportunity to hang out with friends and has a Christmas party. This can occur at a friend’s house, at McDonald’s, at a karaoke bar, a coffee shop, a restaurant, or a bar. There are a festive atmosphere and people enjoy the decorations and unusual music.
Some young people who like handicrafts also make some Christmas decorations at home to add to the festive atmosphere. Below you can see some Christmas trees made from recycled materials that are easy to find.
Chinese Christian Christmas
Many Chinese Christians celebrate this festivity as one of the most special events of the year, even more, important than the Chinese New Year. The preparation of songs, activities, and food for Chinese New Year is quite different from that of the Christian Christmas period.
Chinese Christians go to some special churches that tend to be crowded while celebrating Christmas. On Christmas Eve, there are choir performances and the community relies on dance and drama performances called “Silent Night.”
Christmas in Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s Christmas atmosphere is quite strong because of the deep influence of the former sovereign country, Britain and Western culture. Christmas is a highly valued holiday in Hong Kong. Christmas Day and the following day, for example, the 25th and 26th of December, are public holidays in the city, but Christmas Eve is not a public holiday.
Various celebrations are held in Hong Kong every Christmas Eve. There are a large number of people participating in the celebration. Public transport services, including metro and buses, provide late-night services on Christmas Eve.