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Holiday Differences between Mainland China and Hong Kong (SAR)

Updated: Jan 14, 2021

Tis’ the season to be jolly,

fa la la!

With all the festivities going on around us here in Hong Kong, it’s hard to imagine that not all places in the world are experiencing the same level of cheer and excitement for the New Year!

It’s true most Chinese people do not celebrate Christmas at all. This is especially true in rural and minority areas where Western and Christian influence is minimal. And while Christmas is also not a public holiday in Mainland China, the commercial element of Christmas has become a major annual event in major cities there. On the streets and in department stores there are Christmas trees, lights and decorations. You'll hear Christmas music playing from the end of November over the noise of the crowds shopping for Christmas season promotions. A Chinese "Father Christmas" (圣诞老人 Shèngdàn Lǎorén /shnng-dan laoww-rnn/) helps to make the scene complete.

The Western New Year is based on the solar calendar, while the Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar. Because it depends on the moon, the date of Chinese New Year actually changes each year, but it will always fall sometime between 21 January and 20 February, when many people around the world are already well into their New Year. The upcoming Chinese New Year will be celebrated on the 12th – 14th February 2021.

Senior English tutor at ME Education, Steve, lets us in on some of the differences around the holidays in a Mainland Chinese school vs.