December 25th is mostly an ordinary day in China, as people there don’t celebrate Christmas as the westerners do. This doesn’t mean they don’t celebrate it at all; in fact, they have some pretty amazing Christmas traditions. Here are our three favorites.
Exchanging apples wrapped in cellophane (or boxed) on Christmas Eve is a common way to say “Merry Christmas” in China. Eating one of these apples on Christmas Eve is believed to bring you a safe and peaceful new year. The tradition comes from the fact that the words for “peace” and “apple” are very similar in the Chinese language, and these apples are known as Peace Apples.
We all know about Santa’s elves that help him prepare the gifts, but in China, Santa actually has sisters. They call him “Sheng dan Lao ren”, which means “Christmas Old Man”. You can typically see him at the malls with his “sisters” in costumes.
Christmas Trees are Rare
Since Christmas isn’t a family holiday in China, it’s typical to see everyone in the streets, shopping and having fun with friends. It’s not common to have a Christmas tree at home, and those that do have the plastic ones and cover them in paper lanterns, chains, and flowers.