Western Holidays in Chinese

Fall and Winter means that a lot of big holidays are coming up in Western countries, and in this global day and age, a lot of those holidays are also celebrated in Chinese-speaking countries now as well. 

The first big holiday coming up in November is Thanksgiving. You may be wondering, why is there a blog post about Thanksgiving when Chinese-speaking countries don’t celebrate a Thanksgiving Day? That may be true, but two of the largest countries that celebrate Thanksgiving are Canada which has about a 1.77 million person Chinese-Canadian population, and the USA which has about a 3.8 million person Chinese-American population, so you may find yourself invited to Thanksgiving with a Chinese-speaking person.

Also, as mentioned above, like a lot of American holidays, Thanksgiving is catching on a little in China, and if you’re an expat living abroad you might find yourself greeted in Chinese on Thanksgiving. 

Words and phrases to celebrate Thanksgiving:

Happy Thanksgiving感恩节快乐
Gǎn’ēn jié kuàilè
Huǒ jī
Pumpkin pie南瓜派
Nán guā pài
I’m full 我饱了
Wǒ bǎole
Time for a nap午睡时间
Wǔshuì shíjiān
Thanks for the meal 感谢招待
Gǎnxiè zhāodài
Thanksgiving Chinese phrases (Simplified and Traditional)

Christmas is more celebrated in Chinese-speaking countries because a few places like Singapore and Hong Kong have strong ties to the United Kingdom where Christmas is a big deal. In mainland China and Taiwan Christmas is very commercialized so even though it’s fairly rare that anyone is celebrating Christmas for religious reasons, there are a lot of Christmas decorations to be seen. Singapore and Hong Kong are especially well-known for their amazing decorations! Hong Kong has been named one of the top 10 ten places to spend Christmas in the world by CNN. 

If you talk to a Chinese person in Asia, a lot may not even know that Christmas is a religious holiday centered around the birth of Jesus Christ, but they will all know about Santa Claus! 

Only about 1% of the population in China is Christian, so because it is mostly a commercial holiday, Christmas decorations are usually just seen in the big cities and in stores. Christmas music can also be heard through all the shopping malls just like in the USA. 

Most people will not have a Christmas tree in their home or many, if any, decorations in their home. However, more and more young people are celebrating and giving gifts to each other to mark the occasion. A lot of Chinese consider Christmas to be a romantic holiday for couples to exchange gifts, as there are not that many Chinese holidays where gift giving takes place. One thing that most foreigners have a hard time getting used to is that while there may be Christmas decorations around and holiday music playing, Christmas Day is not a holiday in China so everyone goes to work and has a normal work day as usual. 

Words and phrases to celebrate Christmas:

Merry Christmas圣诞节快乐
Shèngdàn jié kuàilè
Santa Claus圣诞老人
Shèngdàn lǎorén
Christmas Tree圣诞树
Gingerbread House姜饼屋
Jiāng bǐngwū
Christmas Chinese Phrases (Simplified and Traditional)

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