Travel can include all your favorite holidays, and even some new ones! What is Christmas like in Beijing?
A tour of the city, however, eliminates any doubt that Christmas was indeed being celebrated. And a celebration it was, as Christmas carols were played and sung in public complexes and Christmas wishes greeted us everywhere, complete with Santa and sleigh bells, including red-nosed reindeers. This is apparently a new phenomenon in the People's Republic of China, with its inception traced back to the 1980s Open Door policy of Deng Xiao Ping. Since then, the sight of the chubby old man with the red hat and thick white beard has become as common as Colonel Sanders, the other bearded man, who as the face of KFC has mushroomed all over China. In fact, public and private companies alike throw Christmas parties and restaurants and bars have Christmas Eve specials, featuring exotic wines and mystery gifts...For the Chinese, it is Christmas in so far as the theme song, "Silent Night," elicits a sense of holiness and peace and the myth of the magi promotes gift-giving. --Edmund Chia and Gemma Cruz, theologians