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Christmas gains popularity in China as religious overtones fade

Reporter: Li Qiong 丨 CCTV.com

12-27-2016 01:03 BJT

Another year, and another Christmas. Though the festive holiday has passed, the warm-hearted and spirited season is certainly not over. In the past, the Western festival was seen and celebrated by just a small group of Chinese people, who viewed it as a "stylish" celebration. But now, the holiday can be seen in all corners of Chinese society.

The "Moncy Club" in Beijing, an amusement park for children, has brought the Chinese capital a surprise. A European town, covered in snow, has been created, to provide local children a real white Christmas experience. 

Children throughout China were a little bit worried this Christmas, as Santa Claus had quite the journey to make. Could Saint Nicholas, travelling all the way from his home in Lapland, with his gifts and reindeer, really reach the other side of the globe?

Luckily for youngsters here in China, the answer was a resounding yes.

Christmas gains popularity in China.

Christmas gains popularity in China.

The religious overtones of Christmas have long since faded when it comes to China. Instead, it has turned into another festive holiday, just like Halloween and Thanksgiving Day. These important Western festivals seem to be a must-celebrate thing among young generations in China. But why is that?

"Because I can get gifts on Christmas."

"Because we can exchange gifts and I'm so happy about that."

"Because I can see Santa Claus."

Perhaps another reason is this - Beijing's Olympic Forest Park has put on a show. Snow-covered scenery gives visitors a Christmas vibe on this special day providing a Western Christmas feel for children here in Beijing.

Christmas trees decorated from top to bottom, reindeer and sleighs everything is about this big western festival.

The atmosphere is a real thrill for these young visitors, as the prevalent blanket of white, gives it a real snowy feel.

"I like Christmas, because I can play with snow."

In recent years, Christmas tunes and jingles have flooded stores and markets as early as November. Commercial marketing and advertisements have also helped boost and promote the festive season, while its fun-spirited nature has added to its popularity.

And this is all a good thing, as Christmas goes hand in hand with other traditional Western festivals, which promote fun, family time and good morals. These are all welcomed in China, especially for children who celebrate at school and at home.

"China's reform and opening-up has brought in many foreign companies and cultures. We should keep our own traditions, but at the same time accept diversification. And some of the western festivals are quite good," a parent said.

For many Chinese, these imported holidays are just another reason to get together, have fun and exchange gifts. Be it a day at the office or a relaxing day on the couch, many locals continue to welcome the festive flavor of Father Christmas.

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