Christmas Blossoms in China

Several foreign media reports look at the rising popularity of celebrating Christmas in China. From the BBC:

Only an estimated 2% of China’s population are practising Christians so, for people such as Ms Liu, there are no religious reasons whatsoever for celebrating Christmas.

Yet in recent years, there has been an increased focus on Christmas in China, particularly among young people who regard it as an important and fashionable day to celebrate.

“We simply just want to have some fun on this day,” explains Sai Wang, who works for an IT company in Beijing.

“Western holidays are more trendy for young people. There is no other sophisticated reason at all,” he adds.

And from Jaime Florcruz of CNN:

But what does Christmas mean to the Chinese?

“It’s a festival in the West, right?” surmised Zhao Jing, a young salesgirl, who hails from rural Shanxi province.

“I know it’s the birthday of Jesus Christ, as written in the Bible,” said a middle-aged Beijing woman, surnamed Chen, as she shopped for a New Year’s gift for her husband.

And the Shengdan Laoren? “He brings gifts, like candies and toys,” gushed a boy with his mother on a shopping trip.

And the Los Angeles Times profiles a rent-a-Santa from California who now plies his trade in hotels in Shenzhen.

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