We all know that Christmas is a Western holiday that is relatively new to people in Asian countries. In recent years there has been debate in the United States about whether we should apply an originally Christian holiday to all the people in the US no matter their religion. The debate takes place in different forms over different things, from whether you should say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy holidays” to a non-Christian, to the debate over Starbuck’s new red holiday cups.
However, in Asia, Christmas and the New Year celebrations seem much less religious. In this article, we will talk about how people in China celebrate Christmas and the New Year.
Christmas: The day of sale
Christmas is not a legal holiday and is not recognized as an official holiday by the Chinese government. However, this does not stop people in China from celebrating this Western holiday. Besides a small amount of Chinese who are Christians actually celebrating the religious holiday, many companies and retailers in China see this as a new reason and a new way to sell their products and to boost their sales.
For example, tmall.com, one of the biggest online retailer in China, did a Christmas sale from Dec. 14th to Dec. 25th, featuring huge discounts on all kinds of different “imported” goods as well as all kinds of products from food to electronics.
Christmas is not the only time of the year that is used as the day for the sale. The “double eleven” holiday, which is also known as single day, is also used as the day for the sale. The “double eleven” holiday, which is as same as Christmas, is not a legal holiday in China. The holiday gets its name because the date Nov. 11 has four ones in it (it’s okay if you didn’t figure this out, just remember that this holiday was basically “created” recently without any history origin). The annually “double eleven” sale, which is also provided by tmall.com, reportedly sold more than 57.1 billion RMB (about 8.84 billion dollars) in that single day in 2014, and about 91.3 billion RMB (About 14.14 billion dollars) in 2015.
New Year in China: the “less popular” new year
China is famous for its Chinese New Year celebrations that take place sometime between January or February every year. Because the Chinese New Year has a deeper history and cultural context of Chinese culture, people in China often see the Chinese New Year as the “real” new year, and treat the Gregorian calendar’s New Year as the dateto celebrate with the rest of the world.
Both Chinese New Year and the Gregorian calendar’s New Year were recognized as legal holidays by the Chinese government. However, there is only one day off for Gregorian calendar’s New Year, and there are three days off for the Chinese New Year.
Extra: 2015: the conclusion:
2015 has left and we have entered a new year. We have experienced happiness, hope, and surprise, as well as fear, and horror. 2016 will be a whole new year for everyone, and I will keep giving you all kinds of information about Asia, the US, and everything around the world.
Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.
Yihao is also the host of the show “Global Perspective” at KRUI every Wednesday from 3-4 pm. The show focuses on international students’ issues in Iowa City, as well as introducing different cultures around the world.