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Since it's the end of the year, we decided to jump on the "Top Posts" bandwagon that is careening through the blogosphere. However, since each ZGBriefs post includes dozens of stories, we are highlighting here the top ten most clicked links of the year in other words, your favorite stories.
Why China Celebrates Christmas (December 21, 2013, ChinaSource Blog)
Christmas is a global holiday, and it looks pretty much the same wherever goes is in the world. Including China. Once banned as a sign of bourgeois decadence, Christmas has made a roaring comeback in the Middle Kingdom. A recent article in the official English daily Global Times looked at why China celebrates Christmas. Not surprisingly, the writer highlighted the vast amount of economic activity generated by the holiday. Christmas in China, like anywhere else, is good for business. It puts people in a mood to spend money, gives them plenty of things to spend it on, and rewards the spending with the good feelings that come with giving and receiving gifts.
So here I am, eggnog latte in hand, seated in one of the ubiquitous branches of an internationally branded coffee chain. The city is not important. This could be Hong Kong or Beijing, New York or London. The festive holiday decor would be the same anywhere, along with the exhortations to "Create Wonder" and "Share Joy" stenciled on the front window.
Vol. 15, No. 4
Christmas crusade (December 19, 2013, Global Times)
Christmas is, without doubt, becoming increasingly popular in China.Although Chinese people may not know the origins of Christmas, this has not affected their enthusiasm for the holiday, as the real reason for its popularity is not religious beliefs but consumption. Economic factors have brought Christmas into the lives of millions of Chinese people.However, with the rapid development of Christianity in China over the past 20 years, especially with the new phenomenon of worship services held in houses, office buildings and commercial spaces emerging in major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and economically developed eastern coastal cities, more and more Chinese people are, for the first time, walking into churches for Christmas.
国家宗教事务局-- Decree of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China No. 426
Becoming familiar with China’s regulations on religious affairs can provide an official reference point for informed discussion on this issue.