Its got to be one of the biggest things apart from your parents or family that you miss as an expat in China, Christmas! Its definitely a well known festival here and the Chinese do kind of celebrate it for fun, but its no English celebration thats for sure! And this year Chairman Xi actually ordered it not to be celebrated by any government employees as its a western festival, not Chinese. That aside we foreign expats always band together and organize festivities.
Having a drink before cutting the cake!
Every year festivities are great, just a little alternative. It always feels strange compared to an English Christmas because of several things really, the temperature for one, its still not cold here and its sunny. One of the big things I like about Christmas in England is the darkness when you get up in the morning, and the early sunset, I just makes me feel like Christmas.
A few more pics from this years party
Another important thing, Christmas lights! Here unlike England no where is there street lights, sure we have decorations in houses and shops, but nothing beats streets full of brightly lit up Christmas lights strung up high between buildings and on lamp posts.
That as it is I still really enjoy the alternative Christmas we have here, we still have everyone gathered together, we still keep things like eating turkey and ham (obvs)the secret Santa tradition going, and this year for the first time ever I tried egg nog !!(Thanks to Natalie). Actually on Christmas day, and nursing a pretty good hangover I went for lunch with my sister and my wife, we changed out the traditional roast turkey dinner (only because no where to go) and went for hotpot. Not traditional Christmas but still a firm favourite of all of us. We then brought at least something English back by going for Tea and cakes afterwards.
Different, but good!
Its now Boxing Day here, and everything is back to normal service ha! Unfortunately unlike England we don’t get a holiday, I’ve got today and next monday off for New Years. Not to worry though, Chinese New Year is almost here and thats when it all goes off! Month long holiday with all the same atmosphere and shenanigans Christmas in the UK brings, with the added bonus of lots and lots of fireworks!!! Christmas here isn’t gone, just moved to a slightly different date!!