Christmas light.” They decorate the tree with lanterns,pretty

Christmas is an exciting time of year for many people around the world. In somecountries, customs and traditions are similar to the way we celebrate but in othercountries they are very different. Have you ever wondered what Christmas in China islike?Many people in China celebrate Christmas. Since only about 1% of Chinese peopleare Christians most of the celebrations are not centered on the birth of Jesus, the truemeaning of Christmas. The Christians in China call Christmas, “Sheng Dan Jieh.” Thatmeans Holy Birth Festival or Happy Christmas. Many Christian families put up aChristmas tree. The tree is called, “tree of light.” They decorate the tree with lanterns,pretty flowers and paper chains that represent happiness. Many of the Christians inChina consider Christmas the biggest event of the year, even more important than theChinese New Year. On Christmas Eve they attend a special church service where thereare choral, dance and drama performances. It’s called “Peaceful Evening.” It’s verypopular to sing Christmas carols in Christian homes. The top three favorite Christmascarols are, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, “Silent Night”, and “Jingle Bells.”The Christmas season begins with lots of fireworks. Acrobats and jugglers entertainpeople. In recent years Christmas has become more popular in China, especially in thebigger cities.Sadly, the people makingthem don’t understand the true meaning of the decorations. Christmas in China isviewed as a “big commercial success.”Christmas is celebrated less in smaller cities and countryside areas because thepeople have little contact with foreigners. For the older generations Christmas issometimes a foreign mystery. The farther inland and west you go in China there aremore Muslims and devout Buddhists.Christmas is a time for people to get together with friends and have big Christmasparties. It’s not necessarily about being with family. It’s probably more like our St.Patrick’s Day. Most Chinese people celebrate Christmas as a happy occasion. ManyChinese especially like the colors and fun that Christmas brings to the dreary winterweather.One of the traditions that has become very popular on Christmas Eve is eatingapples and giving them to others. Many stores sell apples that are wrapped in colorfulpaper. The Chinese meaning for Christmas Eve is peaceful or quiet evening. It’s calledPing’an Ye. It’s translated from the Christmas carol, “Silent Night.”Santa Claus is extremely popular in China. He is thought of as a good-luck figure.Lots of times Santa is pictured as playing a saxophone. Many Chinese children hang astocking so “Dun Che Lao Ren” which means “Christmas Old Man” can fill it with gifts.Santa Clauses usually travel around in a group with several other Santa Clauses. Theycall Santa’s helpers “Santa’s sisters.”Sadly, the people makingthem don’t understand the true meaning of the decorations. Christmas in China isviewed as a “big commercial success.”Christmas is celebrated less in smaller cities and countryside areas because thepeople have little contact with foreigners. For the older generations Christmas issometimes a foreign mystery. The farther inland and west you go in China there aremore Muslims and devout Buddhists.Christmas is a time for people to get together with friends and have big Christmasparties. It’s not necessarily about being with family. It’s probably more like our St.Patrick’s Day. Most Chinese people celebrate Christmas as a happy occasion. ManyChinese especially like the colors and fun that Christmas brings to the dreary winterweather.One of the traditions that has become very popular on Christmas Eve is eatingapples and giving them to others. Many stores sell apples that are wrapped in colorfulpaper. The Chinese meaning for Christmas Eve is peaceful or quiet evening. It’s calledPing’an Ye. It’s translated from the Christmas carol, “Silent Night.”Santa Claus is extremely popular in China. He is thought of as a good-luck figure.Lots of times Santa is pictured as playing a saxophone. Many Chinese children hang astocking so “Dun Che Lao Ren” which means “Christmas Old Man” can fill it with gifts.Santa Clauses usually travel around in a group with several other Santa Clauses. Theycall Santa’s