Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Christmas Holiday in Putian, China

It seems to me that every winter there are more signs of the Christmas holiday in China. Most of it appears to be commercially oriented, and for many Chinese, it has as much religious meaning as Halloween does in the U.S. In fact, I often hear people refer to it as an American holiday. For me, it is simply another example of Western culture's impact in China.

The holiday is not only found in well-known Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. This year, I even saw signs of it in Putian, Fujian province. For example, there are places selling Christmas supplies.

Christmas supplies for sale at Walmart in Putian, China
At Walmart

And several Christmas-themed dioramas can be found in the central shopping district.

Christmas diorama at a mall in Putian, China
At a shopping mall

Christmas diorama at a mall in Putian, China
At a larger and more upscale shopping mall

The most common sight, though, is employees wearing Santa hats.

Two woman wearing Santa hats in Putian China
At a department store

Three young men wearing Santa hats in Putian, China
At a shoe shoe and athletic wear store

young woman wearing a Santa hat in Putian, China
At a mobile phone store

young woman wearing a sparkly yellow Santa hat in Putian, China
At another mobile phone store

However, I think it is safe to say that in most places in Putian, you wouldn't be aware it was Christmas. So some employees still wear their usual hats.

four woman working at a pharmacy in Putian, China
At a pharmacy

And some businesses still use their giant inflatable panda.

giant inflatable panda next to a road in Putian, China
Outside a furniture store

For more, see last year's post here. I shared some personal experiences, a video report by The Christian Broadcasting Network, and some scenes from Wuhan, Hubei province--no giant inflatable pandas, though.

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