Christmas is different in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong
In Taiwan, there is a large effort on the part of retailers to make Christmas the powerhouse holiday that we see here in the United States. I remember going to stores with tall, metallic pink Christmas trees and shopping for a few gifts. The kids looked forward to the gifts and it was fun singing Christmas songs, but it just did not have the feeling of a holiday. As I posted previous, Chinese New Year is more fun to celebrate when you are living in Taiwan.
The Taiwanese celebrate Constitution Day on December 25th that was an official holiday with time off. Locals suspect that Constitution Day was placed on Christmas because the leaders of the KMT wanted to celebrate Christmas. I remember taking the day off and calling my family in 1999. In 2000 they changed the holidays and Constitution Day (and thus Christmas) became a workday. The children do know who Santa Claus is and look forward to the presents.
In Hong Kong, Christmas is a major holiday. It is a secular rather than religious event. Victoria Harbor is decorated with lights and many of the shops near the harbor add to the lights. They also play Christmas music on loudspeakers. There are events on Lantau Island and Christmas Carolers. It sounds like an event worth attending!
In China, people celebrate Christmas with shopping sprees and eat a stuffed duck (the Chinese version of stuffed turkey?). Some people go ice skating or skiing. Christians celebrate quietly in their homes. In recent times, stores have started decorating and encouraging people to buy presents. If you plan on visiting China during December, here’s a great website on December weather in various parts of China.
At noon today, we’re posting a guide on saying Merry Christmas. Come back and check it out!