holidays (Western)


holidays (Western)
With their living standard improving, more and more Chinese have begun to celebrate Western holidays like Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day. A national survey revealed that a third of the sampled population thought that Chinese should celebrate Western holidays. Over half said that they did not care. The growing acceptance of Western holidays, however, does not translate into a desire for parting with traditional ones. The same survey showed that no one thought of Western holidays as more important than traditional ones.
Comparing them with the Western holidays, of which few have much knowledge, most surveyed thought that the latter gave them a more relaxing alternative and an occasion for sentimental expression between friends and family members.
April Fool’s Day and Halloween are occasionally celebrated by school and college students. Their enthusiasm for Valentine’s Day is largely shared by white-collar workers and government employees. Most of the youngsters mistake Christmas Eve as party time and even carnival: flooding malls, shopping; bars, drinking; restaurants, feasting; and clubs, dancing and ‘karaoke-ing’.
Mother’s Day is endorsed by all levels of the government. The rest are left in the care of commerce. Western holidays are next to the Spring Festival (see New Year Festival) in adding to the Chinese holiday economy: Beijing residents spend no less on Valentine’s Day than their Western peers. In some cities, hotels, cinemas and clubs vie with one another in promoting ‘love chambers’ or compartments to customers in disregard for their age, causing concern to parents and educators.
YUAN HAIWANG

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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