Christmas is not really celebrated here. In my final class of the semester, with my second-year students, I did a lesson all about Christmas. We sang ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’. It was nice to get into the holiday spirit, even if it is not a holiday they celebrate.
There are decorations in the major shopping centres, but that is about it. Christmas is called 圣诞节 Shèngdàn jié (lit. holy or saint birthday festival). Christmas Eve, however, is called something completely different. It is called 平安夜 Píng’ān Yè (I think this means peaceful night). Because the first character, 平 is the same word (but different character) in the Chinese word for apple, 苹果 píngguŏ, people give apples to each other. I got a couple of apples from my students – who thought that the giving of apples was a Western custom adopted in Chinese. I said that it is not part of our culture, haha.
My students yesterday gave me some gifts. One class gave me an apple, the other gave me an apple, a tin of biscuits, a very nice 3D card, and some notes written by the students. That was very nice. In class, we just watched Home Alone.
I took some pictures of Christmas trees I have seen across the city these past few weeks.
On Sunday, I met with two former students from RDFZ who are now studying abroad. I had the opportunity to try matcha, green tea flavoured food. Now, I am not a big fan of green tea – or any kind of tea. But, tis the season and all that, so I thought I would give it a try. It was not terrible – though was not fantastic either, haha. I would probably not have it again, but I did not hate it. It certainly was not overpowering, as I thought it might be.
This is my last Christmas in China, but I have tried to get into the spirit of things. It is not so easy, given the lack of Christmas feel here, but nevertheless it has been made somewhat easier by things like my Christmas lesson.
Whilst trying to have fun and at the same time, avoiding eating to an excess, I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. 🎅❄️🎄🎁