Christmas in China

Not having the Christian background that the west has Christmas in China today is a mostly commercial affair aimed squarely at young people. Yesterday evening after work I went for a wander around my local shopping mall, the enormous “Coastal City”, and was amazing to see the number of people out and about enjoying the lights and blatant consumerism –

Coastal City at Christmas

Although Christianity is still generally frowned upon in China, there are an estimated 10 million baptised Christians (about 1 per cent of the population) who celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas time and this number is steadily increasing.


Usually, the mall is pretty quite quiet (most of the shops are ridiculously expensive) but tonight things were buzzing. Most of the restaurants were full and people were queuing up outside.

Christmas in China

Classic Chinese dining with a festive twist! I’m not sure if many people knew the true meaning of Christmas but the children were certainly enjoying it and all the restaurants were doing great business.


Ice skating in a city which is usually 30°C+ – it seems that no self-respecting mega-mall is complete around here without a skating arena. I’ve only tried it once before about 12 years ago when I was in France on an exchange trip and wasn’t very good!


It’s my first time away from home at Christmas and it feels quite weird not to be having the traditional Christmas lunch and sitting around the Christmas tree opening presents with all the family but it’s been nice to see at least a bit of festive spirit around Shenzhen even if it’s not quite the same. Merry Christmas to one and all!

David avatar

7 responses

  1. Keefe Dunn avatar
    Keefe Dunn

    “Christmas in China today is a mostly commercial affair aimed squarely at young people.” – exactly.
    And Merry Christmas! I bet you were missing your family writing this post…

  2. Thanks Keefe, I certainly did miss it but luckily thanks to the magic of Skype I was able to automagically join them for a few hours yesterday which has got to be a first – Christmas conference call!

  3. Pritam avatar

    Hello there! I am reading your blog for a while. I really like your writing style. And your photo shooting talent is unquestionable, unimaginable and unparalleled! Could you advice me please that which mode is the best for taking pictures at night? By the way I’ve got Somy cybershot digital compact camera.

  4. Hi Pritam, thanks for your comment. Taking pictures at night is never easy. In general it’s best to use a tripod or rest your camera on a steady surface and then use a long exposure to take the shot on Aperture Priority (A) or Manual (M) mode.

    To be honest I’m probably not the best person to explain it but check out this guide from Canon which has lots more useful information –

  5. Pritam avatar

    Hi there! Thanks very much for your tips. The link is extremely useful. Thanks again. By the way I agree with the choice of your video platform.

  6. yaoyao avatar

    David,it seems that you are interested in taking photoes.
    In fact,i have Canon EOS 1000D.
    I won it on my company 2008 annual conference.
    But i don’t know exactly how to make the pictures more beautiful.
    Maybe the next time we could go out to take photoes together.

  7. Wow Yaoyao, that’s a pretty cool camera to win! Definitely will give you a helping hand sometime but I can’t guarantee I am any better 😉


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