What is Chinese Christmas?


Quick Answer

Chinese Christmas may refer to Chinese New Year, which is the major annual holiday in China This holiday is entirely unrelated to Christmas or the celebration of Christmas in China. China has very few Christians, but the trappings of Christmas appear in large Chinese cities as a secular winter celebration.

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Full Answer

Chinese New Year is sometimes compared to Christmas because they are both major holidays, both involve decorating, family togetherness and gift giving, and both occur within a few months of one another. However, Christmas is at its root a religious celebration of the birth of Jesus, the founder of Christianity. China's population is largely not Christian, but some Chinese people decorate conifers or go carol singing simply because Christmas has become a widely celebrated holiday detached from its religious meaning. There is even a Chinese version of Santa who gives children toys. A growing Christmas tradition in China is to give friends and family apples because the Mandarin words for Christmas Eve and apple sound similar. The Christians who do live in China celebrate as Christians around the world do, starting the day with midnight mass and spending the rest of the day with family, giving gifts and sharing a large meal.

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