You don’t have to be Chinese to celebrate a Chinese Christmas and it can be a great way to teach children about other cultures. You can start small if you still want to have your own traditional Christmas, too. Just put up a separate tree in another room in the home and decorate it the way it’s done in China.
The Chinese have some similar traditions for Christmas like we celebrate here in the United States, but they also have different traditions that even symbolize the hopes of wealth for the coming year.
The foods served on a Chinese Christmas celebration are not what you find on most Christmas menus. Instead of the traditional turkey or ham such as is served here in America, a Chinese Christmas is celebrated with different foods.
The Chinese celebrate the holiday by making barbecued pork, rice and vegetables, and other meats like duck or chicken. Sometimes all three meats will be served as the meal is treated more like a banquet type feast rather than a simpler meal. Family, especially ancestors are very important to the Chinese culture and the holiday is celebrated with family.
Do children with a Chinese culture also delight in the festivities of Christmas Day? They sure do. Children are children the world over. They look forward to getting presents with the same starry eyed wonder that kids everywhere have.
They don’t call their Santa Claus by the name of Santa as we do. He’s known among the people as Dun Che Lao Ren. Chinese children put up stockings usually made from muslin in the hopes that their Santa will fill them to the brim.
For the tree, the Chinese culture usually dictates that an artificial tree is used rather than a live one and the tree isn’t decorated with balls or tinsel or the type of ornaments you find on a traditional Christmas tree. Instead, the tree decorated is filled with chains made from paper or flowers and lanterns, also made of paper, are hung on the tree.
Some kinds of fruit are thought to invoke the days to come to bring good fortune and increase wealth so for that purpose, you’ll often find oranges or tangerines situated around the home of those celebrating Christmas Chinese style.
Religion is also important to some when celebrating a Chinese style Christmas and for that purpose, many choose to attend a church service or mass on the night before Christmas.
Instead of sitting around a fire on Christmas Eve or celebrating by having a Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas Eve in China is viewed as more of an evening for singles. Christmas Eve is celebrated among the dating couples with gifts that have romantic meaning.