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  • Writer's pictureFelicia Schwartz

A very Chinese Christmas

As a result of globalization, Christmas has arrived in China, and not just because all decorations and presents are made there. Celebrated as a novelty Western import (like Valentine’s), it is mostly a commercial occasion replete with seasonal decor, a popular occasion for shopping, karaoke, outings and dining. Unlike in nearby Hong Kong and Macau, it is not a public holiday.

As Chinese New Year already occupies the position of “prime family holiday”, Christmas has been fashioned as a holiday for couples and the young modern crowd, a romantically tinged, exotic import. Demographic data from social media shows the holiday has a special appeal to young women in their 20‘s and 30’s. Last year a number of lipstick limited editions such as Shiseido’s Cle de Peau and Dior were top trenders. Another popular idea are luxury advent calendars. Just like the chocolate version, these let people open one gift per day. Luxury brand Swarovski enlisted the help of KOL Becky Li this year to promote their limited edition Advent Calendar Boxes, which each contained 24 gifts, including 3 full priced items and 21 surprise gifts. L’OCCITANE launched a virtual Christmas treasure hunt partnering with two popular yet not beauty related KOLs; Brother Cream (a cat) and Celine Yeung (a young girl), both of whom launched posts on their WeChat accounts with clues to find the treasures.

As for almost anything adopted by the Chinese from abroad, there are some unique local spins on Christmas too: Christmas eve is translated into Chinese as “Ping’an Ye” (night of peace) and as the Chinese love a play on word, they offer each other apples as the same “Ping” also forms part of “Ping Guo” or apple. That’s how “Peace Apples” have become a major feature of Christmas in China. Santa Claus also makes an appearance, but in China he is often featured … playing the saxophone! Why? … Well, why not?

“Marry” Christmas everyone,

From China Insight

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