In the past few days, we’ve visited Korea and Japan. Our last stop for Christmas around the world is Christmas in China. Although Christmas has presence in China, it is not as widely celebrated or acknowledged as it is in Korea or Japan. Most shops, schools, and offices remain open — as it is not considered an official holiday.
Even a few households get into the spirit of Christmas, hanging Christmas lights around the outside of the house and putting up a small tree inside. China even has their own version of Santa Claus, who visits hotels and malls across the country. Rather than being accompanied by elves, the Chinese Santa travels alongside his sisters — women dressed in red and white skirts. Traditionally, the Chinese Santa does not leave presents or accept treats of milk and cookies but he will pay a home visit to take pictures with excited children.
Celebrations around Christmas are steadily increasing in China. Many families now gather together on Christmas Eve for a special Christmas dinner with friends. Close friends and family often will exchange cards or small gifts. Hotel restaurants and Western restaurants will almost always feature a traditional Christmas dinner and other festive treats during this time. Many Chinese love to go on shopping sprees during Christmastime. Another seasonal favorite, ice skating, is available at special locations that are set up exclusively for the Christmas season, such as at Weiming Lake at Peking University in Beijing.