søndag 6. desember 2020

Does China celebrate Christmas? A long (and better) answer

Christmas is a festival celebrating Christ’s birth. This statement is by no means a revelation. But to many in China, who welcome Santa Claus as much as they embrace Colonel Sanders, the origin of Christmas remains unfamiliar. That’s because while many Chinese cities and their young, urban dwellers do celebrate Christmas, what the occasion means to them has been shaped by vastly different circumstances, both historical and contemporary, from their Western counterparts.

The largely non-religious history of modern China means that even as people increasingly celebrate Christmas, it has little to do with Jesus Christ or Christianity. The ruling Communist Party, which has been in power since 1949, is officially atheist. During the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution, the Party banned all religious activities. And today, China is considered one of the least religious countries in the world.