Christmas Culture in China and in Italy

Christmas is fast approaching and decorations with the typical red and green colors are already present in the streets, making people feel the enchanting sense of the upcoming holidays. Despite Christmas not being a public holiday in China, with the deepening of cultural exchanges between China and the West, Christmas culture has also become increasingly popular in China. In this article, Eastant will allow you to discover more about Christmas Culture in China and Italy.

圣诞节即将来临!圣诞节独有的红绿色装饰使人们感受到浓浓的节日氛围。虽然圣诞节并不是中国的公共节日,但随着中西文化交流的深入,圣诞文化也在中国流行起来。 在这篇文章中,亦适达将会让你了解中国和意大利的圣诞文化。

The Christmas Season


The Christmas season in Italy is traditionally celebrated from Christmas Eve (December 24th) through Epiphany (January 6th), New Year’s Day is also included in these Twelve Days of Christmas. However, for Chinese people, Christmas is only a 2-day celebration, namely December 24th and 25th and since Chinese people pay more attention to the celebration of the Chinese New Year, the Western New Year holidays are also not very long, only 3 days. For Italian people, Christmas is usually spent at home with family, while in China, to celebrate Christmas, people prefer to go out with friends or lovers.


Christmas Food


Panettone from Milan and Pandoro from Verona are the traditional desserts of Italian Christmas, the main difference between these two is that Pandoro has icing sugar outside while Panettone has candied fruits inside. In China, because Christmas Eve is called 'PING AN YE' and an apple is 'PING GUO' in Chinese, so using this pun, people will give each other red apples implying a sense of peace and safety.


Christmas Decorations


Apart from the Christmas tree, Christmas decorations in China and in Italy are slightly different. Italian people will put a presepe in the house, which basically is a manger scene of the stable where Jesus was born, complete with figurines to represent Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the Wise Men (to be added on the 6th of January), shepherds and animals. While in China, the image of Santa Claus playing the saxophone is preferred to Santa Claus holding a gift bag.

除去圣诞树之外,中意两国的圣诞装饰也有细微不同。在意大利,人们还会在家中摆放“Il Presepe”的装饰,通常指的是耶稣出生在马厩的场景,配有代表玛利亚,约瑟夫,耶稣和智者(在1月6日摆放上),牧羊人和动物的小雕像。 而在中国,比起拿着礼物袋的圣诞老人,人们更加偏爱使用吹萨克斯的圣诞老人形象。

Shopping during Christmas


Shopping is an essential Christmas activity in both China and Italy. After the "Double Eleven" and "Double Twelve" online shopping festivals, Chinese physical stores will also begin to give discounts, and various merchants will also introduce a variety of Christmas and New Year featured products. In Italy, apart from large shopping centers, Christmas markets are also a nice place for people to go shopping. These interesting markets are the best place to select your Christmas gifts.


Christmas Concerts


Is there a better time to go to a concert than during Christmas and New Year? Touching and beautiful music is undoubtedly the best match for Christmas! In Italy, Christmas-related music shows are held in almost every city. In recent years, more and more choirs and orchestras have been invited to China for Christmas and New Year's concerts, making it become a nice alternative for people to spend the Christmas period.


It is not difficult to find some similarities in the Christmas cultures between China and Italy, as people have the same beautiful wish to celebrate Christmas with their family and friends. We hope this article helps you discover more about the Christmas Culture in both China and Italy and inspires you with Christmas ideas for this year. Eastant wishes you a merry Christmas!