Ever wondered what it would be like to spend Christmas in China?! Well let me tell you, it is very different in so many ways, yet also similar in a few….
The Chinese do not celebrate Christmas! (Traditionally, anyway)
The 25th December is just another day in China and most people will not find it as special as you may do. So don’t expect mince pies, mulled wine and wild office parties!
However, more people are starting to celebrate…
Albeit in an adapted, Chinese way! As more westerners come to China and there is growing interest in other cultures, and many young people might use it as an excuse to go out and have dinner… and why not! There’s no roast turkey, stuffing and Christmas pudding though… instead roast duck, delicious Chinese style vegetables such as eggplant, vegetables of the river, and shredded cabbage are enjoyed, and a hearty helping of fruity tea!
Expect extravagant Christmas decorations, trees and Christmas songs!
In most Chinese cities you will find impressive and rather extravagant Christmas decorations. For a country that doesn’t celebrate Christmas it’s rather extraordinary, but in keeping with the ostentatious nature of the wealthier Chinese people who like to splash the cash at this time of year. Don’t worry, you will still be bombarded with Christmas songs if you visit the shopping malls or a Starbucks!
Celebrate with your western and Chinese friends!
We’ve had some highly memorable and fantastic Christmases in China with English teachers and Chinese friends. Depending on your location, it’s likely that there will be many other people from places that celebrate Christmas near to you, and it’s fun introducing your Chinese colleagues to the Christmas spirit and traditions that you carry over from back home.
For teachers, it’s likely this will be the subject of a lesson, or even a Christmas event!
There is certainly a growing appetite in China for learning about other cultures, including Western holidays, so it’s likely that you’ll be asked to teach a lesson on Christmas. We’ve heard of our teachers doing some fabulous Christmas lessons over the years (Mark Shaws Christmas lesson comes to mind).
For those working with young children in a private education centre, expect a big event where parents are invited, staff dress up in classic Father Christmas attire and a banquet is served. Again, it won’t be your traditional Christmas Turkey, but expect more courses than you are used to and many more drinks toasts than you have at your average family occasion.
Yes, if you want to experience a completely new life that will be fascinating, rewarding and challenging all in one, come and experience China.
We will be celebrating Christmas here in our China office and I’m pleased to say it will be a healthy mix of delicious Chinese food washed down with a hearty helping of western (French) wine.
All that’s left to say is Merry Christmas from Opportunity China! Have a good one!