Christmas Traditions in China
Most Chinese citizens are not Christians; therefore, Christmas even to the few people who follow the religion is not too much of a big celebration. The holiday is officially known as Sheng Dan Jieh. The roughly translated meaning of the name is the “Holy Birth Festival.” Children will hang socks out for gifts from Dun Che Lao Ren (their version of Santa Claus). To decorate the individual households of those who celebrate Christmas, delicate paper lanterns are hand-crafted and hung throughout every room. The Chinese Christmas tree is actually called a “Tree of Light” and is decorated with more hand-made paper creations such as paper flowers, chains, and more tiny lanterns. The color red is used as much as possible to stress the happiness associated with the celebration.
However, even though there are not many Chinese who celebrate Christmas, they still have a major winter festival that falls at the end of January. While it is technically called the “Spring Festival,” most places in the Western World still know it as “Chinese New Year.” Huge feasts and festivities take place throughout the entire country, and children receive large gifts of brand new toys and clothing from their parents. There are even intricate street displays of fireworks, firecrackers, and parades of dancers.