Thursday Dec 20, 2007

Christmas in Beijing

Christmas is once again upon us at Innovation Plaza here in Tsinghua Science Park.

You can easily tell this because of the additions to our lobby decoration:

IMG_1728

Yep, folks, there you have it, a reindeer (Blitzen?), a snow-covered cottage, and St Nick himself standing in front of a decked-out (artificial) Christmas tree, replete with lights, ornaments, and a star, and stacked underneath with presents galore. (The two fake palm trees... thanks to Jane for pointing out that they were indeed fake... on either side of it are part of our typical lobby decoration.)

There are similar displays around the city... decorations and lights spelling out Merry Christmas abound, with a few Beijing 2008 thrown in for good measure.

So, with less than two percent of the population identified as beijing Christian, why the yuletide glee?

As a friend of mine told me, Chinese people like to celebrate, and are open to new ideas. And, of course, it helps to break-up the drabness and bleakness of the long and cold winter nights. Hmmh... perhaps some of the same reasons the founders of the church had for putting Christmas at this time of year as well...

Now, one things that I haven't seen is a Nativity Scene, such as this one from the Mormon Temple in Washington, DC:

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