While traditional celebrations surround the birth of Jesus Christ as the reason for the season throughout the western civilization, the population of citizens who call themselves Christian in the People’s Republic of China only amount to 1-percent of the total population of the country. It is strictly forbidden for the Christians to worship in China, but they are tolerated to a degree. These one-percenters gather quietly in their homes to worship the reason that most of the rest of the world celebrates the holiday, while the other 99-percent of the population treat the holiday as if it were Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day. An excuse to get together, go ice skating, go to the movies or have friends over for dinner.
The Chinese are so commercialized that they have over-commercialized the celebration in their own country. While it is not a national holiday, and it is frowned upon and shunned in many sectors, those who embrace the holiday decorate and light up everything in their reach. They are not unlike a town full of Griswolds that make the neighbors cringe, but yet excite them enough to peek through closed drapes at the festive lights and ornaments. All the businesses and government offices are open on Christmas Day.
There are laws against caroling and heralding the Christ child, but there are no laws against shopping, and the Chinese treat Christmas Eve as the biggest shopping day of the year. Little children wait for Dun Che Lao Ren (Santa) to bring them presents while they sleep, and the malls are filled with Santa and his helpers. The helper thing got a little lost in the translation, however. The elves (known as sisters) turned into young ladies dressed in red leotards with a green spiked collar. Santa apparently likes jazz music Chinese-style because it is not uncommon to see Santa depicted playing a sax or a trumpet, although the origin of this particular custom is unknown.
Dun Che Lao Ren is the equivalent of Santa in the Chinese culture. His name means Christmas Old Man, and he is known to fill the muslin stockings of little children with toys and goodies.
Christmas in China is known as Spring Festival, which celebrates the children and the ancestors of the Chinese. There are gifts of clothing and many festive meals served and eaten. Because most of the country is not Christian, the celebration is more of a festival for all rather than the celebration of Jesus.
The Chinese government has embraced the act of Christmas by saying that the West could not celebrate Christmas if it were not for the importing of all those boxed Christmas ornaments and lights, and that the West should be grateful for the influx of the most generous gifts of the Chinese Santa.
It is very well-known how the Chinese have persecuted and eliminated the Christian population in their nation. This has eased up as the boundaries between the East and the West have been lessened, but there are plenty of places that Christians are still persecuted in China, so open celebration in the traditional sense is very limited. The celebration of Christmas has many traditionalists warning about the westernization of their culture. They should be concerned, because it is hard to isolate a country and its people in today’s world of the Internet and news programs. Christmas mass in the Catholic churches are becoming more popular as time goes by.
Wrapped traditional Christmas Apples for sale
Christmas apples are a tradition in China. The apples are gaily decorated and they came to be due to a strange translation from the words Christmas Eve into Mandarin. Apparently, it sounds like their word for apple, and in their enthusiasm to participate, they wrap apples.
The Chinese also do not adhere to the traditional removing of the decorations after the new year, so it is not uncommon to see the lights still up in time for the traditional Valentine’s Day.
It may be a quiet celebration for the Christians, but the rest of the Chinese do everything big and loud when they celebrate, so it is not a surprise that there are lights, parades, dragons, festivals, fireworks and noisemakers that come right along with the crowds of revelers. After all, if it were not for the Chinese, we would not have fun things like fireworks and paper.
While I hesitated to write about the Chinese Christmas because of the persecution, I was surprised to learn that the rest of the country apparently had no qualms about using it as an excuse to celebrate and has incorporated Santa into their Spring Festival. I believed that there would be no celebrations at all.
I was dismayed to learn that they felt that the only reason that the western civilizations were able to celebrate Christmas at all was because they shipped their cheap ornaments to us. The article that was written by the government controlled press was in retaliation for the American people’s distaste in the Made in China label and the reaction to it. The entire article can be read here http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90778/8068957.html
There are very distinct differences between the East and the West on this one, but it is nice to know that they enjoy the season as much as the rest of the world, and that they have lots and lots of lights and gifts.
Here are some gift ideas that will not have a foreign label on them. Give a gift that was made with love and not by machine.
Dichroic Glass Earrings, Handmade Fused Glass Yellow Gold Rectangles
Wire Wrapped Gold Indian Pendant Necklace, Wedding Jewelry, Crystal
Handmade Bell Bulb Christmas Ornament White Ash Wood Gold Any Age Unisex
Bird of Peace Filet Crochet Lace in a Hanging Hoop Suncatcher Ornament
Gold, Purple, Black and Pink Polymer Clay Drop Earrings Handmade
Dark Autumn Maple Leaves Collar Slipcover or Scrunchie Bandana
Gold Filigree and Swarovski Crystal Golden Shadow Gold Earrings
Poinsettia Flower With Green Leaves Handcrafted Christmas Card
Handcrafted Polymer Clay Faux Pearl Clip On Earrings
Hand Knit Yellow All Cotton Butterfly Baby Picture Wash Cloth
Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles Book Purse from Blood and Gold
Big Letter California Postcard - Handmade - Large Letter - State Souvenir
laminated index card personal planner for teacher, mom, student 177
Vintage Pearl Earrings, Dangle, Clip ons, Gold
Handmade Almond Glass Pearl Gold Seed Bead Woven Bracelet
Gold Digger Handmade Artisan Soap cold process with mica
Pretty in Pink is a tribute to Breast Cancer awareness month
Beautiful Fused Glass Dichroic Color Changing Pendant and Earrings set
Bumble Bee Cupcake Toppers for Birthday or Baby Shower or Any Party
Galloping Horse With Topaz Swarovski Crystals Goldtone Dangle Earrings
Gold Celtic Cross Earrings
Nine Karat Gold Pendant on Jade and Garnet Handmade Chain
Handmade Rhodochrosite,Rose Quartz,and Rose Gold Charm Bracelet
Wire Wrapped Spiral Choker style necklace
Green and Gold Pearl Earrings Handmade Elegant Dangles Beaded Jewelry
Welcome to Autumn Copper and Gold Acorn Earrings Polymer Clay
Gold square swirly pattern puffy metal bead linked bracelet adjustable
Yellow/Cream Striped Table Runner w/ Hot Pink Heart Flowers
Golden Bronze Handmade Earrings Czech Glass Crystals Beaded Jewelry
Glass Bead Embroidered Gemstone Pendant 21 Inch Necklace Toggle Clasp
Golden Bell and Mistletoe on Vintage Arthur Capper Christmas Postcard
Citrine Nugget Gold Wire Wrapped Pendant
Girls Winter Hat in Bright Yellow/Gold
Small Gold Hoops, Gold Filled Hoop Earrings, Gold Reverse Hoop Earrings
Riverstone Gemstone Brass black brown Handmade
Since we can thank the Chinese for things like fireworks, paper, tea, hot air balloons, embroidery, money, brandy, the wheelbarrow, cast iron, the compass, movable type, guns, porcelain, kites, matches, helicopter rotors, odometer, umbrellas, paddle wheels and operas, we can also thank them for the opportunity to see how they do things in their country as we move on to our next destination. Drink a cup of herbal tea, which they also invented, and let’s all get back into the sleigh.
Julie and Blu