Christmas in China, it’s another celebration

Updated 2016-12-26 15:00:37 China Daily

It rings harshly in the ears to hear some people complaining about the influence of "jingle bells" at this time of year.

On Sunday, Christmas Day, some students at a vocational school in Chengdu, Southwestern China's Sichuan province, dressed in traditional Chinese clothes and called on people to "boycott Christmas and cherish traditional Chinese festivals". It is said that some colleges and universities even banned students from holding any celebrations for this festival.

Such calls for a boycott of Christmas are narrow-minded.

People's growing acceptance of foreign festivals does not automatically erode their enthusiasm for traditional celebrations. In the past years, traditional culture has been rejuvenating in society with the government's promotion, and Chinese people have been paying increasing attention to traditional festivals.

Spring Festival, Tomb Sweeping Day, Dragon Boat Festival, and mid-Autumn Festival are all traditional festivals that are observed today.

For many ordinary Chinese people, Christmas is just another excuse for a family reunion or gathering with friends. The localization of Christmas in China has the core beliefs of peace and love, which are in line with the values celebrated in the traditional festivals. For instance, apples, which are called ping'an guo in mandarin, are perfect gifts during Christmas to send best wishes of peace, health and happiness.

And, of course, the main reason Christmas and other Western celebrations are observed are because they are another way to get people to open their wallets and part with their money. Such boosts to consumption are to be encouraged as the country seeks to shift from investment-led economic growth to consumption-driven economic growth.

China has achieved rapid growth in the past more than three decades since reform and opening-up in the late 1970s, and cultural exchanges have become an important part of the country's opening-up. Late leader Deng Xiaoping, the architect of reform, said that it's important to solicit the good parts of foreign culture and resist the bad. Top leader Xi Jinping has also said it's important to enhance China's soft power by promoting cultural exchanges and learning from other cultures.

Despite the calls for a boycott of Christmas, it was celebrated with Chinese characteristics over the weekend in cities across China, just like Spring Festival is now celebrated in many metropolis in the US and Europe.

Christmas is just another celebration of life, please let it be.

(By Zhu Ping)

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