Aw: China loves Christmas

There may be around 70 million Christians in China, but they are emphatically not the reason why you cannot walk down a street in Beijing at the moment without bumping into a Christmas tree, or having “Jingle Bells” blared at you from a storefront.

In a country where consumerism is an all-embracing craze, Christmas is “a celebration for young people seeking to be fashionable and retailers seeking to be profitable,” says Xia Xueluan, a professor of Sociology at Peking University. “Christmas in China is not celebrated at home or in church, but in the mall.”

Christmas has nothing to do with Chinese culture, and all the seasonal symbols – the tinsel-and-baubled Christmas trees outside shopping centers, the glitter-strewn reindeer and artificial snowdrifts in store windows, the jovial white-bearded Santa Claus cutouts everywhere – are all borrowed lock, stock, and barrel from the west.