I never expected, before I came here, that Christmas would be so big in China. The shops started the festivities back in mid November, not quite as bad as UK where it’s sometimes around October time. But they do have the specialist Christmas shops popping up all over the place, blow up Santa’s, grotto’s, reindeers, snow etc.
The Christmas cards that I have managed to find are more American than UK, types, with the dreaded ‘Happy Holiday’ on them and lots have only got ‘Happy New Year’.
I asked around as to why the Chinese celebrate Christmas when they are an overall Buddhist country, and the answer I finally got was that the Government of China adopted Christmas for the country in order to boost spending for the population and therefore to help stimulate the economy, much like the way western companies etc, think of it and not its original religious connotation.
I was here for Christmas last year, and arrived on Christmas Eve, which was spent in Hong Kong, well Kowloon actually, where we saw the Christmas Eve firework display at the harbour that was absolutely packed with people. The streets around the harbour were closed to traffic and were only wall to wall people. We hope to do the same this year and this year to take some better photos and a video if we can. Hong Kong is advertising a ‘Seasonal Festival’ for Christmas on the TV, so I am hoping there will be a lot more to see this year, I’ll keep you posted, look out for Christmas II
I have no idea if the Christmas Cards I have sent to the various parts of the world will get there on time, so far mail has been taking around 8 to 10 days to get to the UK, The Chinese postal systems, ‘seems’ efficient, sort of, but sometimes you get the feeling that it goes in a bin, which is probably a little unfair of me.
It may be out in time for Christmas, but we got ourselves interviewed by the press again this week, this time in our home here. It was mainly conducted in Chinese with Rose, with just a few English questions for me. So I wait to see the outcome of that one, I think this one is for the Chinese papers (last time it was for the English translated ones). If so, I will never really know what they say about me!!