It’s Chinese Christmas!| 3 min read

The holidays often bring up fond memories, thus when Christmas roles around while living in China it can be difficult. There are a few things to understand about Christmas in China and some pointers on how to create the best experience you can.

As commercialized as Christmas has become around the world, it is nothing compared to China. Because the concept of the “real reason” for celebrating Christmas is almost completely unknown, it is up to each individual to decide what type of Christmas they are going to have. In a way it is a great opportunity to create a whole new tradition and make some of the most unforgettable memories.

It is common to see Santa faces, pictures of snow and reindeer in shop windows, there will be Christmas decorated products, imported food and even Christmas music playing in stores and restaurants. Yet with all the attempt at providing the goods to buy, the “holiday spirit” is not going to be there unless you create it. With such a burden of conjuring your own holiday joy one can easily get frustrated and annoyed at the effort, and if you focus on what is missing the great experiences will silently slip right past you.

A good thing about being in China during this season, is that there will likely be a group of people, or many individuals in the same boat as you, especially in large cities like Beijing and Shanghai, it’s just a matter of finding your group.

There are often many various sized church groups for those who are religious or simply enjoy a Christmas Eve service, you can buy a Santa suit for 30RMB and participate in the Santacon held every year, there are opportunities to become a caroler in a choir and much more. Activities can be found in Beijing through the Beijinger magazine or website and CityWeekend in Shanghai.

One can also create a completely original Christmas experience with different foods, activities, people and places than ever before. You can go eat Thai food, sing your heart out at KTV with Chinese friends then go to the club for some dancing. You could get a group of people together and have a Christmas Eve walk on the Great Wall of China. There is no limit or rules to celebrating Christmas in China which can be the most fun you have had in years.

True it is not home, and your normal family and old friend filled Christmas day may not be within grasp in China. However, Christmas will be what you make it and China has plenty of opportunities to make amazing holiday memories.

Rachel Yoon

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