Tuesday, December 27, 2016


     If you're considering a trip to China for the holidays, you'll find that some of their Christmas traditions are similar to ours, but many are very different.  You'll see decorated trees, beautiful lights, and many scenes similar to the ones you would see at Christmas in the United States, but in China, most of the decorations are intricate paper folding that form flowers, lanterns and chains on the tree.
   Yes, they have Santa in China, but they don't call him by the name Americans do, he's referred to as Dun Che Lao Ren (dwyn-chuh-lau-oh-run), which means Christmas Old Man.  Another name for Santa is Lan Khoong.  Although most citizens of China are not of the Christian faith there are still plenty of celebrations.
   The festival where everyone celebrates the most, occurs at the end of January, call the Spring Festival or Chinese New Year.  This is the time when children receive gifts of toys and clothing, every one feasts and, unlike in America, there are huge fireworks shows around the country.

Chrildren putting wishes on wall

     Whereas Americans are busy with worship, wrapping gifts, singing carols and awaiting Santa's arrival, most Chinese are remembering their ancestors.  Christmas in China is a time of remembrance for those already passed and photos are hung out of respect for them.  It's not a time of sadness, though, it's a time of celebration.
   While sightseeing in the major cities, you'll see plenty of Christmas trees and other decorations, including Nativity scenes which show Jesus.  Mary and Joseph as Chinese, with full Chinese costumes.  Christmas cards are often exchanged, but the cards look much different than they do in America, with the card depicting fish and lotuses, little Chinese kids standing by a tree, or even a Chinese Santa.


   There's lots of places to shop, where you'll find goodies for everyone on your list, but you won't see the mad rush for certain gifts that you'll experience  when shopping during the holidays in America.  If you're trying to avoid the whole holiday scene, though, there are many great things to see in China.  Check out the Beijing Zoo, or the entire city of Beijing, where you'll find much history and architecture.
   The Forbidden City is another must-see while visiting China.  With over 720,000 square meters, the place is massive.  Nearby, the Fragrant Hills Park should be on your itinerary.  And, of course, the Great Wall of China, must be seen before leaving.  Also check out the Lama Temple, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, and Wo Fo Si (Temple of Reclining Buddha).


   Whether you're traveling to China to enjoy Christmas there, or you're going to avoid the commercialization of an American Christmas, you'll find exactly what you're looking for...and then some.  China is one of the most beautiful countries...holiday or not...and you'll really enjoy yourself.

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