As the weather gets colder, the atmosphere of Christmas has become warmer. Whether in China or Germany, Christmas is an important holiday.

Perhaps there is no special meaning in Chinese Christmas, but Christmas in China is definitely a good day for shopping. You can see all kinds of decorations and various goods everywhere. In China, only about one percent of people are Christians, so most people only know a few things about Christmas. Because of this, Christmas is only celebrated in major cities. In these big cities there are Christmas Trees, lights and other decorations on the streets and in department stores. Santa Claus is called ‚Sheng Dan Lao Ren‘ and has grottos in shops like in Europe and America. The post men might dress up as Santa when delivering letters before Christmas! A tradition that’s becoming popular, on Christmas Eve, is giving apples. Many stores have apples wrapped up in colored paper for sale. People give apples on Christmas Eve because in Chinese Christmas Eve is called „Ping an Ye“, meaning peaceful or quiet evening, which has been translated from the carol ‚Silent Night‘. The word for apple in Mandarin is „ping guo“ which sounds like the word for peace.

However, the Christmas atmosphere in Germany is even more enthusiastic. People even prepare for Christmas one month before the festival. As a Chinese, I really feel the popularity of the Christmas market and the enthusiasm of the people. Through the Christmas trees everywhere, I know that Christmas Trees are very important in Germany. They were first used in Germany during the late Middle Ages. If there are young children in the house, the trees are usually secretly decorated by the mother of the family. The Christmas tree was traditionally brought into the house on Christmas Eve. In some parts of Germany, during the evening, the family would read the Bible and sing Christmas songs.

In the picture, you can see that I am standing next to the landlord’s Christmas tree.

Liang Hao, international student at SRH University in Heidelberg, about how Christmas is celebrated in China